Gifted Program Faculty
Click names and/or grade levels to visit teacher and/or grade level websites!
This will be my 17th year teaching and my 9th teaching gifted. I have a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and a Master’s in education. I am certified to teach 6-12 Chemistry, Biology and gifted. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with innovative ways to bring my love of science to my students. Gifted students offer the unique challenge of pushing me to be a better teacher as they do not settle for the status quo. I want to inspire my students to become our next generation of scientists and engineers.
Ms. Kathleen Cook
8th - Gifted U.S. History
Teaching Gifted U.S. History allows me to challenge my students with in-depth, dialogue-driven explorations of how our nation's past has shaped the present and will continue to mold our future. I hold a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida, and I am currently in my fifth year of teaching at Fort Clarke. I love having the opportunity each day to foster a greater appreciation of history and the humanities in my students.
6th - Gifted World History
My favorite part of being a gifted teacher is the opportunity to add depth to the social studies standards and challenge my students to grow as students and young historians. I earned a BA in Social Science Education at the Florida State University and I began my teaching career in South Florida. This is my 2nd year teaching gifted at Fort Clarke. I knew I wanted to be an educator when I had a wonderful high school teacher who fostered my curiosity and love of learning.
7th - Gifted Science
I am happy to be a Fort Clarke Falcon! For the last 10 years, I have loved stoking the spark of curiosity in young minds in Gainesville. I strongly believe learning should be fun! My mission is to inspire, educate and prepare ALL my students for their predicted future. I do this by creating a safe community environment in my classroom reflective of the ebbs & flows of a genuine ecosystem. It's a beautiful thing to watch students’ confidence grow through practicing failure, in a safe environment.
As students journey through our units, they collaborate with each other, and assess themselves using Project Based Learning. In my class we respect The Process (of learning) every step of the way. Students not only know what they are doing, they also learn why and how.
Humans are not standardized, they don't learn in a standardized way. That's why I use Project Based Learning that is aligned with our Florida State Standards. Weekly, students are empowered to tackle real-world challenges in our community while enhancing their critical thinking skills.
My lessons are seasoned with a focus on environmental literacy, social innovation, and hands-on design skills. This makes 7th Grade Gifted Comprehensive Science relevant, rigorous and responsible. Currently, we are creating and researching innovative solutions in the energy, water, waste, transportation, air quality, food and public spaces.
In my spare time you can find me in the garden, on the water, or playing with my two big beasts. Life is better outside! It’s our job to take care of our world.
7th - Gifted Civics
I am a military brat, mainly grew up in the Midwest and then moved to Gainesville in the 1980s. I earned a BA in Political Science with minors in English and Statistics. I began substituting in Camden County, Georgia and after trying many other career fields, I found my true passion teaching middle school students. Attending Armstrong Atlantic University at night to earn my teacher certification, I began teaching during the day. I continued my teaching career in Chesapeake, Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland, earning my national certification via the Praxis in Gifted Education and Political Science. This is my 12th year at the Fort, during which time I earned my Master’s in Special Education, focusing on students who are gifted with multi exceptionalities. I hope my students leave my classroom as responsible citizens with a strong efficacy for political engagement.
In 1994, after four years building an environmental education program at Camp Crystal Lake, I started teaching Science at Fort Clarke. I have taught all grade levels, but mainly sixth and eighth. In 2007, my colleagues and administration finally succeeded in convincing me to teach gifted students. So far, the rewards have helped me to overcome the challenges. My formal educational sojourn included extensive studies in Science, Fine Arts, and History before settling on a BA in English with a specialty in technical writing and editing. My informal studies have included work in building construction, restaurants, housekeeping, science journal research and editing, and concert production as well as travels across the U.S. and Europe. I later found my place in teaching. Nothing else I have done has been as challenging or as rewarding.