NEWBERRY COUNTY — Emily Huggins and Christie Allison are the latest Newberry County School District teachers to become National Board Certified Teachers.
Huggins teaches math at Newberry High School and Allison teaches kindergarten at Little Mountain Elementary School. The school district now has 60 NBCT educators in the county out of 476 total teachers, according to Pam Arrington, human resources director with the school district.
South Carolina remains third in the nation for the total number of NBCTs after 291 South Carolina educators representing 39 school districts earned National Board Certification (NBC) in 2012, according to data released today by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
There are now over 100,000 NBCTs in the United States. With the addition of this new group of NBCTs, South Carolina increases its total to 8,436, trailing only North Carolina and Florida.
Richland School District 2 set the pace for the state with 35 teachers achieving National Board Certification in 2012. Richland School District 1 had 25 and Horry and Greenville tied at 21 to round out the top three. Richland 2 now leads the state for the most NBCTs all-time with 654. Greenville is a close second at 646. Other state leaders include Charleston (488), Lexington Five (431) and Horry (418).
A complete list of district totals can be found at www.cerra.org/media/documents/2013/1/School_District1.pdf. The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) has not ranked beyond the top five.
Teachers seeking National Board Certification undertake a two-part process that takes from one to three years to complete. The process requires candidates to reflect on their classroom practices, assess their understanding of subject material and examine their preparation techniques. In addition to preparing a portfolio with videotapes of classroom teaching, lesson plans, student work samples and reflective essays, teachers must complete assessment center exercises based on content knowledge that prove they have mastered the subjects they teach and also possess the skills to teach them.
“I feel the NBC process is a wonderful professional development opportunity and that all teachers should go through it. The hope is that every teacher will succeed and receive certification, but the process is definitely a time of growth for all that participate,” said Michelle Stempniak, a new NBCT who teaches music at Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering in Anderson School District 5.
CERRA provides numerous National Board awareness sessions and an array of candidate support workshops to assist educators in the process of certification. Their infrastructure of support also includes a district liaison in each of the state’s 84 school districts and collaboration with other state agencies including the State Department of Education, The South Carolina Education Association, and the Palmetto State Teachers Association.
“The NBC process was a very intense time of self-reflection and evaluation. It was a lot of work, but the support system was incredibly helpful including the NBC printed material, NBPTS home office and the CERRA office,” Stempniak added.
“The process helped me to be even more intentional and focused in knowing my students, planning, instructing, assessing, evaluating and setting new goals. It forced me to analyze and critique every aspect of my teaching. It encouraged me to strengthen my weaknesses by searching out materials to read and people to talk to so I could gain better insight and new ideas to meet the needs of the children in my classroom.”
According to information provided by NBPTS, a recent report by Harvard’s Strategic Data Project found that NBCTs in Los Angeles public schools, the nation’s second-largest school district, significantly outperformed their peers with the same level of experience.
“These latest data illustrate what education policymakers already know. Teachers who become National Board Certified are highly effective and strengthen student achievement,” said National Board President and CEO Ron Thorpe. “They demonstrate the powerful impact that accomplished teachers have daily in their classrooms.”
In 2000, CERRA was charged by the South Carolina General Assembly to administer the South Carolina National Board Certification Loan Program for teachers choosing to pursue National Board Certification. The loan program was disbanded three years ago, however, private and federal funds with minimal cost to the applicant were available to this year’s cohort. Teachers interested in pursuing the certification for the 2013-14 National Board cycle can access further information on the CERRA Website at www.cerra.org.
About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards:
The mission of the National Board is to advance student learning and achievement by establishing the definitive standards and systems for certifying accomplished educators, providing programs and advocating policies that support excellence in teaching and leading, and engaging National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and leaders in that process.
The National Board seeks to elevate the status, voice, and role of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession. This includes: 1) raising public awareness with respect to the cognitive complexity, collaborative, and expertise-driven nature of teachers’ work; 2) setting higher standards for entry, advancement, and leadership in the profession; and 3) recognizing accomplished teaching through a rigorous professional certification process comparable to those found in other professions such as medicine, engineering, and law.
Since 1987, more than 100,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification.
About the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement:
CERRA, an independent state agency located on the campus of Winthrop University, is the oldest and most established teacher recruitment program in the country. The purpose of CERRA is to provide collaborative leadership in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of outstanding educators for all children in South Carolina. CERRA’s programs have been adopted at school, district and state levels in more than 30 states in the United States. More information about the Center and its programs is available at www.cerra.org. You can now follow CERRA on Facebook (cerrasc), Twitter (cerrasc) and YouTube (cerrasc).