Senior Educational Therapist and Assistant Director,
As senior Educational Therapist at SAGE Center for Gifted, Kat Gibbon's background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Moravian College and a Certification in Early Childhood Education from the State of Colorado Department of Human Services. Kat has taught in a number of educational settings, which include Mackintosh Academy, Boulder Country Day School, and Boulder Journey School.
For many years now, Kat has maintained a steady pace at SAGE Center – guiding and teaching students individually and in groups. She has designed and implemented individualized support plans, addressing the strengths and needs of gifted students through project-based, experiential learning experiences, and activities tailored to the child or adolescent. Detailed session summaries are written to outline the goals and progress of each client and how those goals are being addressed through lesson planning. Kat has also designed homeschool and SAGE Center curriculums for students with complex academic needs and strengths, in addition to traveling to Costa Rica to support SAGE clients, working directly with parents, children, and educators in school and home settings.
At SAGE Center, we support the whole individual through cognitive, affective and regulatory support and this framework informs the planning and direct support of our gifted clients. Kat’s unique strengths include the application of creative, art modalities to support the development of positive coping strategies, self-regulation, and a positive self-concept, building upon the strengths of the individual.
This work with gifted children also includes meeting with teachers, school administrators and clinical therapists to help guide children and their parents through the complexities of support including cognitive enrichment, social-emotional coaching, sensory and emotional regulation, as well as trauma-informed care. Kat has been mentored and trained under the guidance of Executive Director, Renu Rose, over many years and this intensive mentorship in the field of gifted education, combined with her years of experience in working with children in a myriad of capacities has polished her to be one of the keenest and insightful educators of gifted and twice-exceptional children.
In her role as Assistant Director of SAGE Center, Kat supports Executive Director Renu Rose with assessments, guidance to educational therapists, and oversight of the various SAGE Center locations.
Kat has previous experience working with at-risk adolescent girls, women, and families in need as well as the elderly in hospice. Her work with individuals with diverse needs and strengths has informed her work at SAGE with complex children, adolescents, and young adults.
Kat frequently calls upon her experience as an artist as a source of inspiration for her work as a therapist. Her skill set includes photography, illustration, printmaking, sculpture, sewing, felting, and therapeutic puppetry. Experience and endless experimentation have provided Kat a resourceful lexicon for developing new ways of communicating through Art.
Kat is pursuing a Masters Degree in Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy with a focus on how the arts support post-traumatic growth as it relates to Intergenerational Trauma.
“I never feel limited by creating; on the contrary, my world opens up to expansive possibilities. Sharing this with the children at SAGE has provided me with a different approach to reach my students. My hope is for children to find comfort and new ways of communicating through the Arts." – Kat Gibbons
We welcome Chris Hughes as our Administrative Assistant. Chris will provide a myriad of organizational duties and support to Director Renu Rose and our SAGE faculty, as well as to our families.
As a mother of two twice-exceptionally gifted children, Chris is passionate about encouraging and nurturing gifted children and their families. She has guided many friends to valuable resources (such as sensory interventions and tools) that have helped improve their own lives as well as their children’s. Chris has a firsthand understanding of what many parents are experiencing and will offer an empathic perspective when working with our families.
Chris is compassionate, friendly, and supportive. She is well read on topics related to gifted children – their intensities, over-excitabilities, emotional concerns, as well as the misdiagnosis of mental illness in profoundly gifted children. She is always striving to learn more, to help her own children and experiences joy when helping others.
Chris has had personal experiences with SAGE Center on behalf of her daughter, appreciating firsthand the tender and compassionate care that SAGE provides by valuing and honoring the whole child.
“The idea of working in an environment that is so nurturing and supportive – and with people who share the same passion for helping gifted children and their parents – is like finding my niche in this world.” – Chris Hughes
SAGE Center offers a warm welcome to Chris. We look forward to making this journey together … we know all will appreciate her compassion and empathy.
Anne is a graphic designer for web and print. She maintains the SAGE website and has added her own creative touch, the SAGE Center “In Bloom” Newsletter. Anne provides editorial support and content development, designs graphics and slideshows as well as promotional literature for SAGE’s related professional associations.
As a proponent of arts education, Anne is a founder of ArtsALIVE! - the arts booster organization of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District, Katonah, NY. On its behalf, she devoted many years as designer, writer, program developer, and fundraiser, nurturing ArtsALIVE from the spark of an idea to an enduring resource within the school district.
As a parent and grandparent, Anne believes that the arts are an essential expression for the whole person. They teach students so many lessons, such as the value of practice, collaboration, and the beauty of creative expression. The arts teach children that there are several paths to take when approaching problems – and that all problems have more than one solution. Anne believes that the arts provide positive motivation, encouraging students to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in life.
Anne offers: “Renu B. Rose and the faculty of SAGE Center provide gentle support of children and their families. I am moved when I read and edit the client studies that we post in our Newsletter. The possibilities for growth and holistic transformation through the blending of art, kindness, and observation/interaction in the world are so evident. I am honored to play a supporting role in this organization.”
Anne creates photomontage images for artistic and commercial purposes, builds unique websites, and one-of-a-kind books that celebrate meaningful events and people. View her work at Anne Borrell Graphic Design and The Healing Home.
Laura Smith is an accomplished and competent full-cycle bookkeeper with over 20 years of varied experience in the finance & accounting field. She is known best for her eye for detail and scrutinizing reconciliation skills.
She is a QuickBooks master and is proficient in all stages of maintenance accounting, including Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, balance reconciliations, and financial reporting, along with all phases of payroll processing, including payroll tax filings and year-end forms reporting. Laura prides herself on her ability to be thorough, diligent, accurate, and professional while still maintaining a friendly, personal, and approachable demeanor with all of her clients. As a professional in a career open to scrutiny, Laura upholds her commitment to not only accuracy, but also transparency, and ensures that her clients are always left with a feeling of confidence, satisfaction, and complete openness between themselves and the accountant on whom they rely to keep their financials in order.
When she's not crunching numbers and counting beans, Laura can often be found on a challenging hiking trail, testing her physical abilities while breathing in the beauty of Colorado nature. The breathtaking views from a summit always serve as a reward for the demanding climb to it. And when she’s not de-stressing in nature, she might be found belting out a tune at karaoke or striking up some healthy competition at a pool table. And whereas these all serve as excellent vacations from her analytical daily life, her favorite stress relief is found through teaching preschool Sunday School. As an equally left and right-brained person, Laura finds satisfaction and validation in reconciling an intimidating balance discrepancy, but her soul is filled by planting seeds of faith in the little ones released into her care every Sunday morning, and she believes there is no greater reward than the smiles, hugs, and snuggles she receives as thanks for the very small portion of her time that she devotes to this precious opportunity.
Though fully skilled and competent in her profession, Laura considers herself to be the furthest thing from a ‘typical accountant’. With a deeply empathic nature, in a behind-the-scenes profession that most consider ‘boring’, she strives to find work that can add meaning to the work she does. She specializes in small business accounting, helping to promote and further the aspirations of other entrepreneurs.
While her work serves to challenge her mind, her heart still longs for something more meaningful. “My nephew is autistic, and since his diagnosis in 2009, I have immersed myself in the autism community. To satisfy some of my emotional needs I offer accounting and payroll services to an agency that provides behavioral therapy services to children on the autism spectrum. The opportunity to support an agency such as SAGE was a no-brainer for me, and I am honored to work with such caring and loving people, adding even more meaning and depth to my career.”– Laura Smith
Laura graduated from CSU Global Campus and the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has certifications in Quickbooks, and ProAdvisor, and is State of Colorado Sales/Use Tax Certified. She is a registered Notary Public, State of Colorado.