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Gifted Education


Kids building stick towers

Maryville has a long history of preparing gifted teachers for schools throughout the greater St. Louis area. Our “high touch” program engages top educators in small, face-to-face classes with hands-on preparation for the use of research-based models and methods with demonstrated success for the talent development of gifted students. Our graduates are recognized as effective teachers of gifted and talented students as well as well-rounded teachers of all students.

The Gifted Area of Concentration may be taken as a separate set of coursework leading to the endorsement certificate in teaching gifted children or as an Area of Concentration within the 30 credit hour Master of Arts in Education. The endorsement requires that the teacher hold a valid teaching certificate in Missouri and has taught at least two years.

Emphasis is upon developing critically reflective practice geared to the identification and teaching of a broad spectrum of gifted children. The faculty expertise and commitment at Maryville has put the institution in a leadership position for St. Louis and the state.

For more information: email us at hstanwich@maryville.edu or call 314.529.9542.

Program Features

Recognized for Excellence
When you earn your MA in Education from Maryville, you’ll have opportunities for excellence on every level. Our program is nationally accredited and recognized locally for being a leader in gifted teacher education. You’ll work with outstanding faculty members and exemplary professionals in the field. You’ll enjoy small classes, innovative approaches and plenty of opportunities for professional growth. With a strong foundation of theory and its practical application, you’ll earn the reputation of being one of the most highly respected and best educators in the region.

Faculty Fully Qualified in Gifted Education
Steve Coxon, Ph.D. 
is the assistant professor of gifted education at Maryville University in St. Louis where he serves as the Director of Programs in Gifted Education including the gifted graduate program, the Maryville Summer Science and Robotics Program for High Ability Students, and the Maryville Young Scholars Program to identify and serve high ability students from groups traditionally underrepresented in gifted programs. His primary research interests are in developing creativity and spatial ability in pK-8th grade students. Steve writes the column Scientifically Speaking for Teaching for High Potential, is the book review editor for Roeper Review, and is the author of more than 25 publications including the book Serving Visual-Spatial Learnersfrom Prufrock Press. Prior to his work at Maryville, Steve served as assistant editor ofJournal for the Education of the Gifted at the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary and as a classroom teacher in Virginia and California. His decade of Title I public school service included elementary and high school positions along with working with gifted students ages 5-16 in special classes. He coached award-winning FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams through five seasons and now volunteers as a judge advisor in the St. Louis region. Steve was the 2010 recipient of the Joyce VanTassel-Baska Award for Excellence in Gifted Education.

Mara G. Berry, M.Ed. is an adjunct professor in gifted education at Maryville University and teaches Survey of Gifted Education. She also serves as the Managing Director for theMaryville Summer Science and Robotics Program for High Ability Students and Site Coordinator for the Maryville Young Scholars Program to identify and serve high ability children from groups traditionally underrepresented in gifted programs. Formerly, she was Director of Gifted & ELL and a principal for the GALACTIC gifted program in the Hazelwood School District. Mara has presented at state and national level gifted conferences. She holds her B.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and certification in Special Education Administration from Lindenwood University. She serves on the Maryville Gifted Education Advisory Board and the Maryville Young Scholars Advisory Board. Mara has coached FIRST® Lego® League & Jr. FIRST LEGO teams for the last four years, plus she is a member of the St. Louis Area Planning Committee for FLL and volunteers as a judge for FLL competitions. She also volunteers and teaches as a Master Gardener with the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Brooke Bilby, M.Ed. is an adjunct professor in gifted education at Maryville University and teaches Curriculum and Instruction for the Gifted in the Maryville Young Scholars Program. She is the gifted coordinator for the Ladue School District. Brooke holds a B.S. in elementary education and her gifted certification from Maryville University as well as a M.Ed. in educational administration from Lindenwood University. Brooke has presented on the Maryville Young Scholars Program at both national and state-level gifted conferences. She serves on the Maryville Education Leadership Council, the Maryville Gifted Education Advisory Board, the Maryville Young Scholars Advisory Board, and is the co-chair for Maryville’s annual Dr. Seuss Day.

Patricia Hedges Curry, M.Ed. is an adjunct professor in gifted education at Maryville University and teaches Psychological-Educational Testing. She is a certified school psychologist and is in a private practice focusing on gifted and exceptionally gifted learners. Previously, she served as Gifted and Special Education Coordinator for the Francis Howell School District in St. Charles and as an adjunct professor in both areas. In 2006, she received the Gifted Association of Missouri Parent of the Year Award and has served as president of SAGE (St. Louis Association for Gifted Education). Training teachers to work with gifted children in the regular classroom is her passion which has resulted in nationally presented workshops and two published articles.  She holds her B.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Along with certifications as a Psychological Examiner and School Psychologist, Pat is certified in Special Education, Gifted Education, and Elementary Education.

Michelle Ryder Schoeck, M.A.Ed., Ed.S. is an adjunct professor in gifted education at Maryville and teaches Creativity, Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking; Differentiation for All; Special Populations in Education; and Psychology of the Gifted in the Maryville Young Scholars Program. She also supervises Maryville’s gifted education practicums. Michelle is Director of Gifted Programs in Lindbergh Schools, including the K-12 gifted program and the St. Louis Regional Program for Exceptionally Gifted Students (PEGS), grades 1-12. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences numerous times and is involved in gifted education in the St. Louis area. Michelle holds a B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a M.A.Ed. from Maryville University, and an Education Specialist degree from Webster University. She serves on the Maryville Gifted Education Advisory Board and the Maryville Young Scholars Advisory Board. She is the 2014 recipient of the Maryville University School of Education Adjunct of the Year Award.

Degrees Offered and Requirements

Admission Requirements

For admission to the master’s program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. You must have maintained at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA from your undergraduate studies; below 3.0 may apply for provisional acceptance.
  • Complete an application for admission to the program (online).
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from qualified professionals.
  • Submit the application essay to demonstrate that you have the necessary competencies for the program.
  • International students must submit appropriate TOEFL scores.

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