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Dear Families,

We hope you are looking forward to time with your family and friends as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday. It has been another whirlwind of a year, but I am personally looking forward to a time of reflection, relaxation, and spending time with my own children during the upcoming break!

Written by: Dr. Kelly Van Sande, ILA Founder & Head of School - and a parent of two gifted children

Students with high intellect demonstrate many of the same needs and desires as their non-gifted peers; they want to feel included, have friends, play games, and hold on to a 'stuffy' (stuffed animal) when they are young and feeling uncertain. Yet, their needs become more complicated as they often struggle to identify and relate to their peers. While this is true from an early age, young children are typically more able to adapt, even if it is at the expense of 'hiding' their giftedness from others. As a child grows and matures, the differences become more apparent and feelings of isolation and 'being different' may start to creep in.

Emily Reicherts, mother of one of our incredible Ignite students, penned this essay on motherhood and was officially published earlier this month. We suspect many of our parents can relate to her words and wanted to share them with our school community as well.

Emily, thank you for sharing beautiful your words with us!

Kelly Van Sande, Ed.D., Founder and CEO of Ignite Learning Academy, has been invited to join Phoenix Business Journal Leadership Trust, an exclusive community for influential business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs in Greater Phoenix.