For immediate release: September 3, 2010
Comallie-Caplan is President-Elect
of National Gifted Student Group
LAS CRUCES – LCPS Behavioral Technical Assistant Lori Comallie-Caplan is president-elect and
a board member of the national organization Supporting
Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG). She will serve a two-
year term as SENG president, January 2012-December 2013.
SENG was formed in 1981 “to bring attention to the unique
emotional needs of gifted children,” according to
www.sengifted.org. It’s mission “is to empower families and
communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach
their goals intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially and
spiritually,” said Comallie-Caplan. SENG is based in
Poughquag, NY and has board members and advisors from
across the United States.
Comallie-Caplan began work with LCPS as an individual
education program (IEP) compliance trainer in 2001, training
every school district special education staff member on writing LCPS Behavioral Technical Assistant Lori
IEPs compliantly. She served as special education coordinator
2003-09, supervising all middle school special education programs, the Advanced Education
Services K-12 program, Frasier talent assessment profile testing and special education social
workers. She became a behavioral technical assistant in August 2009, providing behavioral
consultation and recommendations for designing materials and developing visual schedules and
other visual supports for students with autism and behavior intervention plans.
Comallie-Caplan joined SENG in 2008, was elected secretary that same year and was chosen as
president elect in 2009. She also serves as the board champion for SENG model parent groups
(SMPG) and is a trainer of SMPG facilitators. She writes a monthly column for the SENG Update
newsletter and is co-chair for the SENG national conference, which will be a special partnership
with the New England Conference on Gifted and Talented in Hartford, CT. in October. At the
conference, Comallie-Caplan will conduct a comprehensive SENG MPG facilitator training.
In addition to SENG, Comallie-Caplan helped restart Parents and Advocates for Gifted
Education (PAGE) in Doña Ana County in 2003 and has been a featured speaker at PAGE meetings
every year since then. She also started the first statewide association for gifted children, the New
Mexico Association for the Gifted, in 2005 and served as its first president. Comallie-Caplan was
awarded a lifetime membership in NMAG for her service and continues to serve as its webmaster.
“The reason I choose to become a part of SENG was SENG parent groups,” she said. “I had been
trained as an SMPG facilitator by SENG founder, Dr. Jim Webb, in 2004. I have facilitated SENG
SMPGs in Las Cruces and witnessed first-hand the difference they made in the lives of families of
gifted children. Ask any parent what they really want for their child – We all want our children to be
happy, healthy and productive. When children suffer, parents do too. SENG parent groups offer
expert information and resources, plus they offer parents of gifted children a community to belong
to,” she said.
Comallie-Caplan said SENG is competing for a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant in order to provide
SMPG supports to underserved communities and award full scholarships to train 150 new parent
group leaders. You can help by voting at www.refresheverything.com/SENG.
“New Mexico is one of the leading states in providing for gifted students,” said Comallie-
Caplan. “It is one of the few states that mandates identification and services for gifted students. It is
one of even fewer states that also provides funding to meet those mandates and a due process
procedure for parents to ensure that the needs of their gifted students are met. In January 2010, New
Mexico added a requirement for a gifted endorsement for teachers working with gifted students.
“And though many districts in the state pay lip service to these requirements for gifted students,
LCPS, through Associate Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Steven Sanchez, has worked hard to
meet their needs. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with Superintendent Stan Rounds for
the past two decades, and one of the most important things I have learned from him is that we must
educate the whole child – not just academics, but help them become healthy, productive
citizens. That means we cannot ignore the social emotional needs of any of our students, but
especially our gifted students who have unique needs in this area,” she said.
For more information, contact Comallie-Caplan at 575.527.5914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.