Gifted Program sends students to 2014 GAM Day at the Missouri capital


Planning for the future: Gifted coordinator Kathryn Fishman-Weaver, Jake Giessman and former Advanced Seminar and Investigations teacher Marylin Toalson talk amongst themselves Feb. 15. The Advanced Seminar allows students to explore possible careers through internships.

Ashleigh Atasoy

Whitney Cravens Senior
Senior Whitney Cravens, though not part of the EEE program, will travel to Jefferson City for GAM Day.

Renewing its annual tradition, the Rock Bridge Gifted Program or EEE, will be participating in the 2014 GAM Day at the Missouri Capitol, sponsored by the Gifted Association of Missouri this Wednesday, Feb. 26th. Giving a voice to the importance of gifted education, the student group led by RBHS Gifted coordinator Kathryn Fishman-Weaver plans to reach out to legislators and share personal examples of how EEE has affected them.

“I think sharing a quick personal powerful story sticks with people and I think legislators are no exception to that, so I like to think that when my students share their compelling stories that perhaps if there’s legislation on education on the table a representative might think  ‘Oh, that’s right, I remember this great story.’ Maybe it’ll impact [their] decision.”

Even though she is not officially a member of EEE, senior Whitney Cravens is a member of the GAM day team and hopes to impress upon legislators the “open door” policy that affected her. After meeting Fishman-Weaver and other EEE advisors her sophomore year, Cravens gained mentors and opportunities.

“Once I got to Rock Bridge, I befriended Mrs. Weaver and Mr. Geissman in the EEE room and I basically get the exact same opportunities any EEE kid gets, so they’ve really had an open door and welcoming arms to me,” Cravens said. I’ve gotten “a lot of mentoring from them … and so they’ve really just helped me prepare for the future and to look the best on paper and to be the best I can be.”

The group of seven will travel to Jefferson City in the morning and spend the day talking with senators and representatives from Columbia. Though the main goal of GAM day is to connect with the legislators, Fishman-Weaver also hopes to give her students a learning opportunity.

“I think that there’s sort of two objectives of the day,” Fishman-Weaver said. “First, I want our legislators to hear about gifted education where they might not get to otherwise. Secondly, and equally as important to me, as a teacher, I think it’s a really good experience for my students to get to see themselves as advocates who have a message that legislators can and should listen to. I think that could be really empowering.”

By Ashleigh Atasoy