Mrs. Panyoua N. Yang
Gifted & Talented Education Facilitator

District-Wide GATE Information

  Click Here

Novel Competitions


Summer Opportunities

Click Here

Welcome to Gifted and Talented

Dear Students and Families,

Welcome to Marrs Magnet School. My name is Panyoua N. Yang and I am the Gifted/Talented (GT) Facilitator. I look forward to communicating with you throughout the school year.

Marrs Magnet School has maintained an outstanding record of academic excellence. Students who attend Marrs 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 Marrs Magnet 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: they must maintain high grades in their classes.

Our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program at Marrs Magnet 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 402-557-4409 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.

Panyoua N. Yang
GATE Facilitator
Marrs Magnet School



The goal of the Gifted and Talented program is to offer a differentiated rigorous curriculum by providing curricular and instructional adaptations that address the unique needs of high ability learners. At Marrs Middle School, the program is organized to address these needs through a combination of the following methods:

o   Differentiation

o   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 Marrs Magnet 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 Marrs Magnet.

District GATE Brochure - Coming soon
Marrs GATE Brochure 2016-17

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)

Seventh and Eighth grade students (selected) for the Scholars program engage in activities that are goal-oriented.  Students learn more about themselves, support one 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-solving. 

Book Blasters
Contests in Math, Writing, Speech, and Technology
Geography Bee
Read 2 Succeed
Spelling Bee
Think Tank
Quiz Bowl


19 OPS Quiz Bowl Quad

22 Beveridge Quiz Bowl


6 Norris Quiz Bowl

18 Parent Teacher Conferences

20 Beveridge Robotics

27 McMillan Quiz Bowl


3 LAUNCH Leadership Workshop

6 4th Grade Math Competition

7 KSTM Science Competition

10 Bryan MS/HS Quiz Bowl

17 Norris Robotics

19 Poetry Slam Workshop


7 Spelling Bee

8 LAUNCH Leadership Workshop

13 Geography Bee

18 Academic Pentathlon Practice Competition

25-3 Winter Break


12 Benson Robotics

19 McMillan Robotics


1 Academic Pentathlon Essay for Regional Competition

2 OPS All City Music Festival/African American History Challenge/Metro Science Bowl

5 OPS Spelling Bee

7 Parent Teacher Conferences

9 Duke Tip - ACT Test (various locations on Saturday)

21 Academic Pentathlon Regional Competition

23 Nathan Hale Quiz Bowl

23 Regional Science Olympiad Competition 

27 Book Blasters Competition                   


2 Destination Imagination - Regionals    

5 Academic Pentathlon Essay for State

6 History Day

11-15 Spring Break


TBA Metro Science and Engineer Fair

30 LAUNCH Leadership Seminar   


3 Academic Pentathlon State Competition

6 Destination Imagination - State

10 Academic Pentathlon SUPER QUIZ

11 SMP Competition

18 State Science Fair

20 Science Olympiad

24 Poetry Slam

TBA Academic  Pentathlon Essay for Nationals


2 NJHS Induction

9 Honors Night

11 NJHS End of the Year Celebration

TBA Academic  Pentathlon Nationals

22-25 Destination Imagination Globals

pter Advisors:
Panyoua N. Yang (Library), Jocelyn Masasi (Rm. 151), Sarah Hughes-Deeney (Rm. 142)

Chapter Officer Teacher Recommendation
NJHS Service Log


Marrs GATE Calendar of Events


GATETrailer Event