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by Kathy Wiebke


A few months back, I found myself watching 60 Minutes. This is a show I do not necessarily watch with great frequency, but for some reason I found myself intrigued by an Anderson Cooper interview about a child prodigy, Joey Alexander.

I am not a huge jazz fan, but I do enjoy good music. There was sophistication to the beat and maturity to the soul of his music.

While I was totally blown away by this young man’s talent, I started to wonder where in our school system we can accommodate such raw talent? I quickly realized that with talent of this magnitude I don’t think we can. But, it also reminded me that every child has a gift and it is our job to help unwrap it, nurture it, and support it, as it may not be as obvious as this young man.

As we finish out the 2015-2016 school year, let’s make it our pledge to continue to discover the talents and gifts in all of our students. And, while we are doing so, listen to some great jazz of a 12-year-old boy from Bali.


Kathy Wiebke, Ph.D., is executive director of the Arizona K12 Center. As a native Arizonan, Kathy has spent almost her entire life in Arizona’s public schools as either a learner or a teacher, and sometimes both. Learn more about her here.

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