Founder and Director of The Center for Gifted and Midwest Torrance Center for Creativity, Joan Franklin Smutny welcomes thousands of bright, talented children and young people, preschool-12th grades, to her programs year-round. She teaches creative writing to students at her programs, lectures, and leads parent seminars. She is editor of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children Journal, contributing editor of Understanding Our Gifted, and a regular contributor to Gifted Education Communicator, Parenting for High Potential, and Gifted Education Press Quarterly.
Joan has authored, co-authored, and edited many articles and over twenty-one books on gifted education for teachers and parents, the most recent of which include: The Lives of Great Women Leaders and You (2014), Discovering and Developing Talents in Spanish-Speaking Students (2012), Teaching Advanced Learners in the General Education Classroom (2011), Parenting Gifted Children: The Authoritative Guide from the National Association for Gifted Children (2011), Manifesto of the Gifted Girl (2010), Differentiating for the Young Gifted Child, 2nd Edition (2010), Igniting Creativity in Gifted Learners, K-6 (2009), Acceleration for Gifted Learners, K-5 (2007), and Reclaiming the Lives of Gifted Girls and Women (2007).
In 1996, Joan received the NAGC Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the field of gifted education, and the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Research Award. In 2004, Joan was given the California Association for Gifted President’s Award. In 2012, she received the E. Paul Torrance Award in Creativity given by NAGC, and two of her books, Teaching Advanced Learners in the General Education Classroom and Parenting Gifted Children, won Legacy Book Awards from the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented.