November 2023


Featured Events

Jan 27, 2024

Middle School Mash-up

Here's a chance for your bright (bored?) 5th to 7th grader to experience what school at Seabury might be like by participating in a morning...

Jan 30, 2024

Adult Education Night

What is asynchrony and how does it affect gifted students? Speaker: Head of School Sandi Wollum. Public welcome...

Speaker Series - Smart is not Easy: What Research Says about Highly Capable Learners, with Austina DeBonte

November 15, 2023 7:00 PM

Seabury is sponsoring this exciting event! Hear about the latest research and neuroscience about highly capable learners, informing the most pressing concerns students are facing at home well as in the classroom. Whether it’s refusing to wear shirts with buttons or tags, overreacting to the slightest criticism, gravitating towards adults and older children, forgetting to turn in their homework, trouble with handwriting, anxiety about trying something new, or preferring a book to a party, these and many other perplexing behaviors are common in the HiCap population. We’ll discuss the social-emotional characteristics of HiCap learners, ranging from perfectionism, neurodiversity, and twice exceptionality to grit and executive function difficulties, as well as the recent neuroscience that is helping explain where these characteristics may be originating, giving us big insights on how best to support our students.

Austina De Bonte is a consultant, speaker, and advocate for gifted and twice exceptional students with Smart is not Easy ( She serves as President of the WA Coalition for Gifted Education, Past President of NW Gifted Child Association, Past President of the Northshore HiCap Parents Council (, and a member of the WA State HiCap Advisory Board and the National Association for Gifted Children’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. She was named “People to Watch” in Variations 2e Magazine in 2020, and received the WAETAG Advocacy Award in 2019, and three PTA Outstanding Advocate Awards. Her signature style combines her experience as a student, parent, and family consultant along with synthesized research, current district practices, and cutting edge neuroscience. She has a Masters degree from MIT, and is a doctoral candidate at the Bridges Graduate School for Cognitive Diversity in Education.

Location: University of Puget Sound Rotunda, 1500 N Warner St, Tacoma, WA 98416

For a map of UPS campus grounds, please visit: 

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