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Jann Leppien, Ph.D.

If you work in the field of gifted education, you know Jann Leppien. Leppien, Idaho's 2018 Gifted Education Milestone Award winner, has been an advocate for gifted children for more than 30 years and remains a well-known and respected leader in gifted education who is nationally recognized for her research and publications. Leppien received the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted (WAETAG) 2018 Advocacy Award for her dedication and commitment to supporting educators and advocating for the academic and social needs of students who receive services through highly-capable programs. As the Margo Long Endowed Chair in Gifted Education and professor in the graduate studies in education department at Whitworth University, Leppien continues to advocate for highly capable students through Whitworth's Center for Gifted Education and numerous other associations leading the field.

Whitworth's Center for Gifted Education supports and develops policies and practices that encourage the diverse expressions of gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures. The center offers educators a specialty endorsement and master's degrees in gifted education, as well as institutes and professional development opportunities. Leppien is the co-author of The Multiple Menu Model: A Practical Guide for Developing Differentiated CurriculumThe Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High-Ability Students, and editor for a series of content area books related to the Parallel Curriculum Model.

In addition to receiving the 2018 Gifted Education Milestone Award, she is also the recipient of the Early Leader Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Distinguished Service Award, Friend of Montana Associate for Gifted and Talented Education Award for Lifetime Service, and numerous other awards.

Leppien has served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children and currently serves on the awards committee. She is also a board member for the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) and serves on Washington State's Gifted and Talented Advisory Board, and the advisory board of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development located on the campus of Bridges Academy (, a school for twice-exceptional students in Studio City, Calif. She is also president of Edufest, a summer teaching and learning institute in gifted education held in Boise, Idaho (

Books and Publications

By Corwin Publishing:

  • Parallel Curriculum Units for Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Grades 6-12
  • The Parallel Curriculum in the Classroom: Book 1 & Book 2, Grades K-12

Renzulli, J.S., Leppien, J.H., & Hays, T.S. (2000). The multiple menu model: A practical guide for developing differentiated curriculum.  

Burns, D., Leppien, J.H., & Omdal, S., Gubbins, E.J., Muller, L., & Vahidi, S. (2006). Teachers' guide for the explicit teaching of thinking skills. Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. University of Connecticut. (Monograph)

Published Chapters

Leppien, J.H., & Westberg, K.L. (2017). Providing programs and services for gifted students at the elementary level. In R.D. Eckert & J.H. Robins (Eds.), Designing services and programs for high-ability learners: A guidebook for gifted education (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press and NAGC Joint Publication.

Leppien, J.H., & Westberg, K.L. (2017). Establishing gifted education advisory committees. In R.D. Eckert & J.H. Robins (Eds.), Designing services and programs for high-ability learners: A guidebook for gifted education (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press and NAGC Joint Publication.

Leppien, J.H. (2017). The Parallel Curriculum Model: A design to develop potential and challenge high-ability learners. In C. M. Callahan & H. L. Hertberg-Davis (Eds.), Fundamentals of gifted education: Considering multiple perspectives, 2nd Ed. (pp. 322-332). New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Published Articles

Leppien, J.H. (2014). "So what makes curriculum different for highly capable students?." Curriculum in Context, 40 (1), 7-12. (See attached article.)

Leppien, J.H., & Thomas, T.M. (2016, March 30). "Importance of designing responsive curriculum using strength-based approaches." 2e Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, 76, 3-6. Glen Ellyn, IL: Glen Ellyn Media.

Leppien, J.H. (2016, November). "Books worth having on your shelf when providing services to highly capable students." The WERA Educational Journal, 9(1), 44-46. Washington Educational Research Association.

Westberg, K.L, & Leppien, J.H. (2018). "Student independent investigations for authentic learning." Gifted Child Today, 41(1), 13-18.