Supporting Healthy Young Scholars Symposium

February 7th – 8th, 2014

Main Themes

Cultivating Wellness
This theme not only explored the definition, pursuit, and expectation of “wellness”, but also the ways in which “wellness” is shaped by parents, teachers, and peers. Topics for discussion may include anxiety, fear of failure, sexuality, living up to parents’ expectations, making healthy choices and decisions, depression, resiliency, bullying, and gender identity.

Student Mental Health and Creating a Support Network for Wellness
Sessions focusing on this subtopic addressed social, familial, and educational supports that serve highly capable students in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education.

Guest Speakers

Jo Langford
February 7th, 2014

Read Jo Langford's Bio and Abstract

Jo Langford is the author of The SEX EDcyclopedia, a modern guide to healthy sexuality for boys and their parents. He is also a dad, a Master’s-level therapist and sex educator for tweens, teens and parents, in Seattle, Washington. More about his work with youth, parents and professionals to promote healthy, positive and safe sexual behavior can be found at his website,

Technology, Internet Safety, and Your Kids

Parents of kids (10-18) join me for an important talk about technology, Internet Safety and your kids. Each family will receive a copy of my Template Family Contract for Responsible Internet Use, as well as tips on creating a family policy. Some families have an open-door stance. Some recommend letting them figure it out on their own. Health, as in most things, I think lies somewhere in the middle. Walk away with facts and tools to help create a system that works for your own, unique, snowflake-y family. There will also be separate opportunities for Sex Ed Q&A for both parents AND kids! Educate yourselves/ empower your kids.

Get the Handouts: Contract for Cellular Responsibility
Get the Handouts: The 5 P’s


Shirley Hune
February 8th, 2014

Read Shirley Hune's Bio and Abstract

Dr. Shirley Hune is Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of Washington. She has numerous publications in the areas of international migration, third world states, Asian American history, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) education, and critical race and gender studies. Her recent research focuses on school, campus, and classroom climate; access and equity issues for first-generation college going, immigrant, racial/ethnic minority, and women students; and the experiences of Asian American faculty and administrators.

A Double-Edged Sword: Parental Expectations and Pressures on Immigrant Students’ Academic Success and Physical and Mental Well-Being

Recent research identifies immigrant parental expectations and pressures as a double-edged sword both encouraging and discouraging students’ aspirations and goals. Teachers and counselors also can act as stressors when they reinforce ethnic/racial stereotypes. The presentation will discuss the challenges that children of immigrants face as they negotiate two cultures–their home/ethnic community and school/peers/mainstream society. It will also provide recommendations for parents, teachers and counselors, and youth to address student wellness, personal and social development, and familial obligations, with a focus on Asian American families.

Clayton Cook
February 8th, 2014

Read Clayton Cook's Bio and Abstract

Dr. Clay Cook is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. Dr. Cook has published numerous articles and books on promoting rounded well-being of young people, with recent research focusing on resilience and optimizing overall life satisfaction. Beyond the university, he serves across the country as an educational consultant on models of school-based mental health.

Ordinary Magic: Becoming Resilient to be Healthy, Happy, and Effective

Everyone experiences adversity and stress at some level whether it’s the pressure to perform academically, relationship problems, financial difficulties, or simply the number of tasks to do in a short period of time. Research has shown that young people can learn and use specific resilience skills (such as optimistic thinking, relaxation strategies, choosing one’s attention) and positive routines (good sleep, scheduling in fun, and so on) in order to better manage stress, bounce back quicker after a setback, be more effective in their academic pursuits, develop stronger relationships with others, be physically and mentally healthy, and be satisfied with their lives overall.

Get the Presentation: Ordinary Magic Presentation


Mark Shaw
February 8th, 2014

Read Mark Shaw's Bio and Abstract

Mark Shaw is Director of Health Promotion at UW’s Hall Health Center, and has worked with college students about wellness for 18 years. Before that, he worked for 5 years with K-12 students in the field of substance abuse prevention and treatment. With a masters degree in psychology, Mark‘s areas of interest include stress management, men’s health, tobacco cessation, and substance abuse prevention.

“How Do I Fit In at UW?”: What Most Students Do

Most students entering UW have misconceptions about the frequency of unsafe/unhealthy behaviors (such as drinking alcohol, using marijuana or tobacco, engaging in unprotected sexual activity, and getting enough sleep). By first asking the audience (in a ‘quiz’ format) about how often college students take part in these behaviors, and then giving them the correct percentages, discussion follows about how this discrepancy influences the decision making process about these important areas of student health.

Get the Presentation: How Do I Fit In at UW


Terry Lee
February 8th, 2014

Read Terry Lee's Bio and Abstract

Terry Lee serves as Associate Head of School and Trustee at The Nueva School, an internationally recognized independent school serving 530 gifted and talented students in California. He earned his MBA from the Stanford business school. Terry also serves on his local Board of the Humane Society. He has served as founding CFO of a $375M private equity firm, running coach and runner with over 50 marathon finishes (including marathons around the Grand Canyon and on the Inca Trails to Machu Picchu). He’s also an alumnus of the UW Early Entrance Program.

Appreciation, Accountability, Action: A Personal, Professional Perspective on Health & Wellness

As a TS and EEP alum and Associate Head of School at The Nueva School for gifted and high ability learners, Terry offers a personal and professional perspective on health and wellness specifically for Robinson Center community members. Gifted and high ability students and their parents may experience sacrifice, challenge, and pressure getting to and through TS/EEP. Terry will offer some experience on navigational survival and success including why we need an affective and holistic not just academic perspective and experience.


Break-Out Sessions

Group Discussion Session on 'A Double-Edged Sword'

Shirley Hune
February 8th, 2014

Shirley Hune facilitates a discussion for parents, focused around her earlier talk, A Double-Edged Sword, and similar topics for gifted, multicultural families.

Strategies of Managing Perfectionism in Student Work

Brian Crawford
February 8th, 2014

Brian Crawford, English teacher at Seattle Country Day School for gifted education, shares his insights and experience with managing perfectionism—both in his own work and in his students’ work. Students will leave the session with concrete strategies to help them tackle their next assignments with confidence and reduced anxiety, thereby taking steps to become more healthy scholars.

Social Emotional Needs of Teachers

Smriti Sharma
February 8th, 2014

The success of any educational reform is rooted in the social and emotional health of teachers, if not entirely dependent on it. Join a group of educators to discuss your views of teaching and who a teacher is, teaching as a profession, and the nuances of what that entails. Hope to form some goals of education and define how these pertain to teachers’ work in a classroom, school & community.

Get the Presentation: Social-Emotional Needs of Educators

The Heart / Head Gap

Douglas Calvert
February 8th, 2014

“Gifted” or “accelerated” students are often intellectually ready for demanding material, but do not have the life experience, EQ, or emotional awareness to either process/understand the material or cope with the knowledge they have just gained. Doug Calvert, English teacher in Gifted Education at Interlake High School, will discuss strategies for giving young gifted students context, understanding, and support, and how we can teach resiliency to students who may have never struggled before in their learning.

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