GATE Trailer Event

Welcome to Gifted and Talented

Dear Students and Families,

I am Mrs. Hamilton, and I am delighted to be the gifted and talented facilitator at Bryan Middle School.  I graduated from Wheaton College, in Wheaton, IL, with a degree in Elementary Education, and got my Master’s in Gifted Education from UNK.  I also have middle school endorsements in Spanish and Social Studies.  I am happily married, and have three wonderful, grown-up sons and one adorable granddaughter.  In my free time I like to sew and quilt, read good books, watch funny movies, and putter in my flower gardens. 

Bryan Middle School has maintained an outstanding record of academic excellence. Students who attend Bryan are well prepared to meet the academic challenges of high school. Our mission is to provide a rigorous academic experience that is based on research and best practices and enables all students to achieve their highest potential.

The goal of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program is to identify gifted and exceptionally talented students within the Omaha Public Schools, nurture their social/emotional development and enhance their curriculum experience so these unique individuals may reach their fullest potential.  Students are identified based on an annual evaluation of standardized tests, or on IQ or CogAt assessments.  At Bryan Middle School the program is designed to address student needs through a combination of the following methods:

      o   Classroom Differentiation
      o   Honors and Advanced Classes
      o   Contest/Competitions
      o   Enrichment Activities and Clubs
Competition and enrichment groups are open to all interested students, but since students are pulled out of class to participate, they must maintain high grades in their classes.

Our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program at Bryan Middle School is based on the Omaha Public Schools “Best Practices”. We want to support your high ability learner. We will be making sure our courses are differentiated. We will support staff through collaboration and professional development and by planning and providing opportunities for your child.

Should you have any questions throughout the year, please contact me at

402-557-4100 or  A strong partnership between school and
home is vital to the success of our students. Thank you for supporting your student academically/socially/emotionally, which will result in their sterling success.

Sue Hamilton
GATE Facilitator
Bryan Middle School


The goal of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program is to identify gifted and exceptionally talented students within the Omaha Public Schools, nurture their social/emotional development and enhance their curriculum experience so these unique individuals may reach their fullest potential.  At Bryan Middle School the program is designed to address student needs through a combination of the following methods:

      o   Classroom Differentiation
      o   Honors and Advanced Classes
      o   Contest/Competitions
      o   Enrichment Activities and Clubs




The Omaha Public Schools’ method of identifying gifted and talented students is modeled after the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children).  Identification includes performance at 130 or above on IQ assessments and 95% or above on any sub-tests of the California Achievement Tests.  


Selection for the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program at Bryan can also be determined by a student’s performance in certain courses.  Identification encompasses the following five areas: Intellectual, Academic, Creative, Leadership, and Visual/Performing Arts. Middle school is an opportunity for students to self-select areas that allow them to explore and capitalize on their strengths, display their talents, and excel. Whether it is found in their coursework, a competition, a contest, or an extracurricular activity, a student’s giftedness and/or talents can blossom and develop at Bryan Middle.


Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)


Coordinated by the Office of Gifted and Talented 


Academic Pentathlon: The newest program of the United States Academic Decathlon for middle school students was created to provide opportunities to experience the challenges of a rigorous team and individual competition in five events: Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, and Social Studies. The Pentathlon theme parallels that of the high school Academic Decathlon program.  (currently optional for a school to participate)


Book Blasters: Book Blasters is a district-wide competition that involves a team of students who are responsible for reading approximately 12 selected novels. Teams then compete to see who reigns supreme in knowledge of the novels’ content.


Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP): The 7th grade talent search through Duke University provides an opportunity for high ability students to pursue an above-level testing experience. 


Poetry SLAMS:  Each fall and spring student poets from each middle school take the stage and share their writing with their peers.  SLAMS provide an outlet to express feelings, thoughts and ideas with an audience that yearns for student expression.

Quiz Bowl: Quiz Bowl is an academic competition. A four-member team competes against the clock answering questions from various disciplines. Skills, such as teamwork, cooperative group discussion, problem solving, and reaction time, are enhanced through practices and competitions.


Read to Succeed (R2S): Middle Level schools with fifth and six grade students may compete in this elementary competition. Students read 10 novels (Big Ten) and compete in a team approach to gain a spot in the Super Ten competition. The contest was designed to promote and encourage the love of reading. (middle schools with 5th and 6th grade students)


Scholars: Seventh and Eighth grade students (selected) for the Scholars program engage in activities that are goal-oriented.  Students learn more about themselves, support on another, and achieve success at school. Various events are planned to prepare students for their high school years and beyond i.e., College Campus tours, Gallup Strength Finder, ACT prep, etiquette course and more.


Think Tank: Think Tank is a competitive problem-solving event for 7th and 8th graders held on the UNO campus. This day long event features a game that involves creative problem solv




Bryan Middle Enrichment:


African American History Challenge: The African America History Challenge is a national educational program designed by the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. to enhance the study of African-American history. The goal of the local competition is to encourage pride, self-worth, and an appreciation of the African-American legacy and culture in Omaha youth.

Geography Bee:  All Bryan Middle students participate in a written geography test.  Participants with the highest scores move on to Bryan oral Geography Bee.  The winner of Bryan Middle Geography Bee takes a written Qualifying Test for the state Geography Bee. 

Student Mentoring Project (S.M.P.) -- This competition is for students interested in engineering and architecture. Under the direction of a local engineer mentor, students find a real-world problem, devise a solution, write a proposal and present that proposal to a panel of area architects and engineers.

Math Contests:  Math contests/competitions are available for all grade levels throughout the year.  Students in Grades 5 and 6 are selected to participate by classroom performance and teacher nomination. 

Spelling Bee: The Omaha World Herald sponsors the Spelling Bee. This competition is open to all students. Students participate in mini spelling bees in their Language Arts class. The top students then compete in the Davis Spelling Bee. The winner of the Davis Spelling Bee competes in the Omaha Public School District Spelling Bee.

Enrichment Activities and Clubs

Bryan Middle also sponsors various all-school enrichment opportunities that go beyond the classroom.  Some of these are:  Youth Volunteer Corp, Memory Book, Drama Club, Art Club, and Science Fair.










January 21       Academic Pentathlon Practice Competition @ buildings

January 26       9:00 - 12:00     Scholars (7th grade) Gallup University

February 6       8:00- 1:00    ACT Test (various locations on Saturday)

February 4       Academic Pentathlon Essay for Regional Competition @ schools

February 23     Academic Pentathlon Regional Competition @ schools                         

March 3           Academic Pentathlon Essay for State @ schools           

March 24          8:00-2:00        QUIZ BOWL FINALS   @UNO

March 31          Academic Pentathlon State Competition @ schools

April 13             9:30 – 1:00-UNO Tour (7th Grade Scholars)--Beveridge, Buffett, King, Bryan only                                                                             
April 19             8:30 – 11:30  Academic Pentathlon SUPER QUIZ @ The Teacher                                               Administrative Center board room        

April 22             8:15-12:00   Book Blasters – Skinner Elementary

April 28             Academic  Pentathlon Essay for Nationals @ schools

May 3                8:15-1:30    Tour of Omaha  Marrs, McMillan, Bryan, Davis

May 5                8:15-1:30    Tour of Omaha  Hale, Monroe, KSC, L&C

May 6                8:15-1:30    Tour of Omaha Morton, Norris, Buffett, Beveridge

May 10              8:15-12:00   Poetry Slam @ Pizza Shoppe in Historic Benson 


Ryan Garcia

Gifted/Talented Facilitator

District-Wide GATE Information

 Click Here

Book Blasters

Books In The Book Blaster Competition 2019-2020

Summer Opportunities

Click Here