Jeanne Delp, Leader in Teaching of Gifted, Dies


Memorial services will be held Saturday for Jeanne Delp, a pioneer in the field of education for gifted students and a longtime administrator of the Garden Grove Unified School District.

Delp died Saturday at her Garden Grove home following a lengthy fight with cancer. She was 66.

Delp conducted landmark studies about the educational needs of gifted students while working as a state Department of Education consultant in the 1950s. Her studies resulted in the 1961 legislation that created the Gifted and Talented Education program, known as GATE. The state-funded program is still operating today.

When she retired from Garden Grove Unified in 1987, she said in an interview that helping gifted students had been a focus of her 39 years in public education. “It’s always been a myth that these kids will be able to make it on their own because they’re so smart,” she said. “Gifted children have special problems. They need special education.”


She was born in Calexico, Calif., and grew up in El Centro. A 1948 graduate of Stanford University, Delp’s career included teaching at a U.S. Air Force base in Japan in 1950-51, during the Korean War. She also taught in Santa Maria and in the Yolo County school system before coming to Garden Grove Unified in 1961.

She is survived by her brother, Logan Delp, and two nephews, all of Garden Grove.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that remembrances be in the form of donations to the Garden Grove Assistance League.