National Correspondents

The National Correspondents are a vital part of ECHA, they are the contacts and communicators between ECHA and their country. To be a correspondent they need to be a regular participant at the ECHA Conferences, work to increase the ECHA membership in their country and send a regular report to the ECHA News.

The coordinator will contact all the national correspondents once a year to check that they are happy to continue in their role and  every second year ask national correspondents to write a report from their country, suggested word limitation of 500 words.

At each of the ECHA conferences there will be a meeting for all the national correspondents that the co-ordinator will organise. The time and the date will be notified to the correspondents before the conference.

For more information about the National Correspondent of your country please contact our National Correspondent Coordinator.

Please note that to access the addresses and email-s of National Correspondents you need to login as an ECHA member. If you forgot the username/password please contact:


Mag.a Sonja Pustak
Specialist in Gifted Education

University College of Teacher Education Styria,
Theodor Körner Strasse 38/3,
8010 Graz

Mail: sonja.pustak[at]

Mag.a Sonja Pustak studied at Karl Franzens University Graz and received her degree in 1996. Attending further academic training programmes enabled her to expand her knowledge in additional fields such as elementary music pedagogy, dance and creativity, theatre pedagogy and coaching.

Since 2006 she has been working  as a teacher of English, History, Music and Social Skills in various types of secondary modern schools. Apart from that, she initiated and conducted projects in kindergartens and primary schools in Styria to pass on her love for English and to train the young learners‘ English competences in an effective, playful way. During these years she created numerous chants and activities which are known as the speedUP© method.

As an open-minded person she got engaged in international projects which led to national and international acknowledgment (SPIN 2013/14 and ESIS 2013: project “Check your Cultural ID“, NMS Köflach). Besides, she is the author of the play “Albert und der Stein“ (Pustak, 2016), the creator of KamiScience and the KamiScience materials “Albert und Albertina erforschen Steine“ (Pustak, 2019; picture card set, story and CD), poems and songs for children and has disseminated in national and international conferences.

In 2016 she started to work at University College of Teacher Education Styria. There, the focus of her work has moved from administrative tasks in the research department at the beginning to coordinating the further teacher training in the field of giftedness at the Institute of Educational Sciences. Additionally, she supervises the ECHA teacher training courses and lectures students and teachers.

She completed her ECHA course successfully in 2021 receiving the diploma „Specialist in Gifted Education“ and has been an active member of the national board as ECHA Länderbeirätin for Styria since 2018. One year later, she was elected president of the association „ProTalent Styria“ which aims at supporting and advising parents and pedagogues on the one hand and on launching workshops, courses and summer project weeks for gifted pupils aged from 8-15.  

As a wholehearted optimist and high sensitive person, she cherishes diversity and its colourful dimensions and the policy of small steps towards success.  She is convinced of the validity of Prof. Joseph Renzulli’s famous quote: “A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships”, and  firmly believes that the future of the 21st children is going to be based on the principles of tolerance, mindfulness, respect and acknowledgment of each individual’s potentials.

Austria Correspondent


Andrée Therrien, Psychologist
1+ 450-516-3545
AT A Services de Psychologie
916 boul. Ste-Adèle,
Bureau #113
Canada, J8B 2N2

Andrée Therrien is currently a psychologist in Québec, Canada in private practice in giftedness. She specialized in giftedness and ADHD, mostly in regard to evaluation and psychotherapy. She has worked in different settings: school, hospitals, Youth Protection, correctional facilities and private medical clinic. She has develop the 2Ti, a STEM protocol. International speaker since 2017 (ECHA,WCGTC,ICIE, MIB,APFG…), she is also the Canadian Delegate at the APFG and had been delegate at the WCGTC (2017-2021).


Dr. Ole Kyed
18 Caroline Amalievej
DK-2800 Lyngby
Tel. +45-21312141
email: info[at]

Authorized psychologist 1977

1980 – 2016 deputy chief psychologist at the Municipality of Lyngby-Taarbaek, as well as private practice mainly for gifted and talented children for about 20 years.

1984-1990 board member of the Danish National Association for school psychologists

1986– 1988 functioned as psychologist at the Danish section of the International School in Brussels

1996 and 1997 – worked with inclusive education projects in Kenya and Nepal for Danida under the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1998-2006 chairman of UNICEF Denmark.

2006-2012 member of the Danish National Council for Children.

From the 1990’es Danish delegate of ECHA and World Council for Gifted and Talented Children.

Author of several articles in Danish media about gifted children and gifted education in Danish schools.

Author, co-author and editor of 5 books in Danish, on gifted children and talents in school.


Viire Sepp
Institute of Education
University of Tartu
Näituse 2
50409 Tartu

Viire Sepp is visiting lecturer in gifted education at University of Tartu, actually she is acting as the head of departement of the Special Education of the Institute of Education. Considerable part of her professional career was assotiated with developing the Gifted and Talented Development Centre (nowadays Youth Academiy) of the University of Tartu. Since 2004 she has annually organised conferences and seminars on giftedness in Estonia. She has presented at dozens of national and international conferences and workshops, and is an acknowledged lecturer in teacher training courses. She has published numerous articles, book chapters and is the author of the handbook on giftedness and gifted children. She is the prize winner of educational publications and the National Award for Science Popularisation. In 2016 she initiated establishing nation wide compentence and information centre on giftedness and talent development – Estonian Talent Centre (ETC), and is member of Board of this NGO. Since Nov 2016 ETC is member of the European Talent Support Network.

Viire studied mathematics and psychology at the University of Tartu and has PhD in social sciences from Radboud University of Nijmegen (Netherlands). Her interests in research are academic Olympiads and motivational and personality factors of gifted children. She is the delegate of Estonia at the WCGTC. Her leisure hobbies are singing and the theatre.


Valerie Cantero-Besançon
Académie de Paris – International Coach Federation – World Hypnosis Organization

Tel : +33695785491

After receiving her master’s degrees in history and Education from the University of Paris Sorbonne, Valerie worked as a secondary teacher attached to the French Ministry of Education. She then decided to study in the field of special educational needs, including gifted education and psychology.

For 15 years, she taught to different students with special educational needs and developed several research projects and wrote articles and a children’s book. Beside her work as a teacher, she studied to become a professional coach, accredited by the International Coach Federation, and then to become a hypnosis practitioner, affiliated to the World Hypnosis Organization.

Valerie created Ways4change, which includes an independent coaching and hypnosis practice for gifted students and adults. She is also animating workshops for parents and other adults. She specializes in the counseling of gifted students in facing challenges related to their studies, in maximizing their innate potential and in making the best possible choices in regard to their future, while discovering their true self. 


Dr. Annette Heinbokel, Dipl. Paed.
Bismarckstr. 100
28203 Bremen
+49 – 421 69675131

Annette Heinbokel, PhD, Dipl. Paed., is a retired teacher. She was the driving force behind the founding of the German Association for Gifted Children (DGhK; 1978). While still teaching, enrichment was more important than acceleration, because that was what most of the parents and the children wanted. Her research, however, concerns mostly acceleration because from her experience – and research! – that it is a
good option for children who lack challenge – if handled properly. She started a German website on the subject of enrichment and acceleration:

 From 1994-2006 she lectured on gifted education at the University of Osnabrück.

She is an honorary member of the DGhK, besides a member of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC; since 1977) and ECHA (since 1992). She has been the editor of ECHA News since 2004.


Dr. Leeanne Hinch
Academic Coordinator
CTY Ireland
Dublin City University
Tel: +3531-7008977

Leeanne Hinch PhD is the Academic Coordinator for the Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) at Dublin City University. CTYI provides fast paced classes for academically talented students aged 6 – 17 years from all over Ireland and overseas. Currently the Centre caters for over 6000 students per annum and it is the only recognised teaching centre for gifted children in the Republic of Ireland. CTYI run over 150 academic courses annually for gifted students. 

Leeanne holds a PhD in Science Education from Dublin City University, specifically focussing on the preparation of pre-service science teachers. She has worked in the area of gifted and talented education for the last 8 years and has published articles and presented papers at conferences around the world. She has experience in teacher training for gifted students in Ireland and in her role as academic coordinator she is responsible for the organisation of many classes and initiatives for gifted children and teachers in Ireland. 

Her research interests include inquiry based science education, effective practices for teaching science to gifted students, professional development for teachers, and the views of parents and teachers towards gifted children. 


Lony Schiltz
10, Rue Gabriel de Marie
L-2131 Luxembourg
Phone: 00352 433668

Lony Schiltz  is a clinical psychologist , psychotherapist and arts therapist
Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University René Descartes-Paris-V (F)
Habilitation to Direct Research (HdR) at the University Paul Verlaine-Metz (F)
Head of the Research Unit in Clinical Psychology (PCSA) of the Hôpital Kirchberg in Luxembourg (CHU University of Heidelberg, D)

Head of studies of the Master curriculum “DESS en Art thérapie de l’Université du Luxembourg”

Head of studies of the “Diplôme de spécialisation en Art thérapie multimodale” and of the “Diplôme de spécialisation en Psychothérapie à médiation artistique “

Several completed research projects in the realm of highly gifted underachievers, funded by the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the National Research Fund of Luxembourg. Many international publications related to those projects.

Visiting professor at the University René-Descartes Paris-V (DU and Master in Arts therapies), University Paul-Verlaine Metz (Master in Health Psychology and Clinical Psychology), University Marie-Curie Lublin (Pl) (Master in Psychology), Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg (D) (International Master in Arts Therapies).

National correspondent for the report: “Schulische Begabtenförderung in Europa. Bestandsaufnahme und Ausblick“, published by the „Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung“ (D).

Reviewer for several French, English and American journals in psychiatry and clinical psychology.

External expert for the E. C. (Framework programme Horizon 2020)


Kari Kolberg

Kari Kolberg has a Master of adaptive teaching from Hedmark University College and works as a teacher in Baerum municipality outside Oslo. She has done teacher training on giftedness/adaptive teaching methods for high ability pupils since 2012. She blogs (in Norwegian) on high ability pupils and teaching at and Tweets as @Kariekol.


Prof. Ph. Dr. Carmen M. Cretu
University of Iasi, Alexandru Ioan Cuza (UAIC)
11, Carol I Boulevard
postal code 700506,Iasi, Romania
Mobile: +40 744 630 295
E-mail: carmen.cretu[at]

Carmen Mihaela Cretu is professor at the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania, (, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and president of RO-Talent (Romanian association of psychological and educational support for talented people) which is founded since 1992 and currently is a Talent Point in Europe (

Carmen is former vice-rector (2008-2016) at UAIC; she is the current President of the Romanian National Commission for the Assessment for Teacher Training Programs; member of the National Commission for Academic Titles Accreditation; member in the National Council for Scientific Research in Higher Education; coordinator of Talent Management Laboratory (LMRT) at UAIC; she works as an independent expert at REA -EU Commission in Brussels. Carmen is involved, since many years ago, as a national expert in several major programs of educational reforms and innovation in the field of HE policies and management.  Her interest in giftedness was consolidated after her doctoral fellowship at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, supported by UNESCO and NUFFIC, 1992 and other postdoctoral stages in universities from US, UK, CH, ES and FR. Since 1991, she has introduced teaching undergraduate and master programs courses on giftedness at UAIC. Besides she has supervised many Ph.D. theses on talent issues. She has initiated and developed international and national research projects on gifted education (related to subjects such as curriculum differentiation, teacher training, school effectiveness and comparative education). She has published books and articles in peer reviews on differentiated and personalized curriculum, teacher training, gifted adults and educational policies and management. She is the author of Global Success model published at The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education. International Handbook (2009). As a member of the Romanian National Teacher Training Council she is an advocat for gifted education. Professor C.M. Cretu has been ECHA member since 1992.


Caroline Sims is a PhD student in pedagogy at Uppsala university in collaboration with Gävle University, Sweden. The focus of her research is on the conceptualisation of giftedness in educational policy in a Swedish context.  In her approach she investigates examples from both educational policy documents, and teacher enactment in three types of classrooms; where explicit adjustments for gifted students are made, in the International Baccalaureate and in the national Peak Programmes (spetsutbildning). She has also presented a model for analysis in the form of a cluster concept of giftedness. Her viva is planned for the early Autumn of 2023. 

Sims has a background in teaching at upper secondary level in a variety of subjects, for example Philosophy, Psychology and Literary Analysis. Currently, she runs courses in teaching training with a gifted perspective on language learning and teaching for teachers from Primary to Upper Secondary level. She is the editor and co-author of the textbook Särskild begåvning i praktik och forskning (2021). She has also been part of formulating recommendations to the Swedish Government on gifted education. 

Sims is Sweden’s representatives in ECHA and in the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC). She is also a member of NNGE, the Nordic network for research in the area of giftedness, in cooperation with researchers from Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. 

From the spring of 2023 she is the coordinator of the ECHA Special Interest Group (SiG) focusing on Policy in High Ability Education and Research


Prof. Dr. Ugur Sak
Anadolu University Center for Research and Practice for High Ability Education
Phone number: 00905337452701
Mail address: uğursak[at]

Üstün Zekalıların Eğitimi ABD Bşk.
ÜYEP Merkez Müdürü
Editör, Türk Üstün Zeka ve Eğitim Dergisi
Anadolu Üniversitesi


Pamela R. Clinkenbeard, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Educational Foundations, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
1802 Monroe St. Unit 406, Madison, Wisconsin, 53711, USA

Dr. Pamela Clinkenbeard is Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA, where she was Co-Director of Challenging Advanced Learners Programs and taught educational psychology, research methods, and gifted education. Prof. Clinkenbeard received her Ph.D. in psychology and gifted education with Prof. John F. Feldhusen at Purdue University. She was on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children (USA) and currently serves on boards at Northwestern University (Center for Talent Development), Purdue University (Gifted Education Research & Resource Institute), and the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted. She has written several book chapters and has published articles in Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for Education of the Gifted, Roeper Review, and the European Journal of Psychological Assessment. She serves on the editorial review boards for Gifted Child Quarterly and Gifted and Talented International. She was on the faculty at Yale University working with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, and was on the Fulbright Specialist roster. Her research interests include student motivation, the neuroscience of giftedness, and policy work on diversity and economics in gifted education.