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Teachers Attain Highest Certification in Education

Five more teachers will hang a gold star on their classroom door, a symbol of acclaim that has been placed on the doorways of 280 teachers, counselors, and media specialists in the Caldwell County School System since 1995 who have attained National Board Certification awarded by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Currently, 169 employees hold the coveted national certification to include 18 percent of the teaching cadre. 

“We encourage and support professional development for all faculty members,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps, “and National Board Certification is one of the most highly regarded teaching credentials in the country. We are proud of each teacher’s level of dedication through countless hours of preparation, and sometimes years of study, in achieving this highest level of education certification that is respected and recognized by every state.”

Teachers who earn national certification must demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a series of performance-based assessments, teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and analyses of their classroom teaching and student learning. This voluntary process typically takes one to three years to complete.

According to research conducted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, teachers who have achieved National Board Certification by the NBPTS significantly outperform their peers who are not Board Certified on 11 of 13 key dimensions of teaching expertise, according to a study released by the National Board. Based on student work samples, the study's authors declared that National Board Certification "is identifying and certifying teachers who are producing students who differ in profound and important ways from those taught by non-certified teachers."

Congratulations to the following teachers in the Caldwell County Schools who received National Board Certification by the NBPTS in 2018:

Alexis Buchanan, art teacher, Dudley Shoals Elementary

Cindy Dale, 5th grade teacher, Hudson Elementary

Abby Hudgens, English-as-a-Second Language teacher

Brandy Story, 3rd grade teacher, Collettsville School

James Marra, social studies teacher, Hibriten High School

These teachers, as do all teachers in North Carolina who achieve certification, receive a 12 percent salary supplement to their regular pay. They also are awarded eight continuing education credits. Also, the State Board of Education awards a North Carolina teaching license to out-of-state teachers who are employed in North Carolina and who possess the national certification.

Before 2017, National Board Certification was issued for 10 years. To ensure that teachers stay up to date on the knowledge and best practices in their certificate area, national certification was changed in 2017 to five years. Eleven teachers in the Caldwell County Schools renewed their national certification in 2018, which is an abbreviated process.

North Carolina remains the national leader in the total number of teachers who have earned certification by the NBPTS, accounting for nearly 22,000 teachers or 22 percent of the statewide teaching force. The state gained 557 National Board teachers who are currently working in public school classrooms. The success experienced in North Carolina school districts, to include Caldwell County, can be attributed mainly to the support systems in place and incentives provided to North Carolina teachers.