State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-26, ranking member of the Education Committee, received the 2013 Friend of the Gifted Award Nov. 21 from the Connecticut Association for the Gifted.

Also in attendance were Elliott Landon, Westport superintendent of schools, and John Pellino, president of the CAG.

"This recognition is greatly appreciated," said Boucher. "My hope is to continue to foster the best policies for our high ability students."

Boucher fought for appropriate level of instruction for high-achieving students, and gave a voice to advocates of personalized education for all students, including high ability and academically advanced students.

Earlier this year, Boucher proposed a bill to establish an Academically Gifted Advancement Program. Gifted 11th-graders could take a qualifying test and apply to waive their final year of high school, allowing students to begin college early. Qualified students could receive a full scholarship for tuition to a public college or participating private college. Boucher hoped the program would put special emphasis on math, science and engineering, recognizing the need for highly skilled workers in Connecticut in these areas.

"It would be wonderful to foster this learning pipeline early and allow our gifted and talented students the opportunity to learn and live here in Connecticut," she said.

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The Connecticut Association for the Gifted, founded in 1969, is the parent, teacher, and school resource and legislative advocate for Connecticut's gifted and talented students. It provides parents with information and resources to benefit their talented children, educators with high quality professional development, and boards of education with the tools to support talented students.