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West Caldwell Teacher Most Recently Completes National Board Certification

Kristen Bowman, English teacher at West Caldwell High School, has completed National Board Certification, the highest level of teaching credentials through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

“We are extremely proud of Kristen and others who work beyond their duties and responsibilities to attain this level of certification, which may take years to complete,” said Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps.

Bowman joins 284 of her colleagues who have become national board certified while serving in the Caldwell County Schools.

National certification includes a demonstration of knowledge and skills through a series of performance-based assessments, teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes, and analyses of classroom teaching and student learning.

To help with this arduous process, the school district provides assistance through Coordinator and Beginning Teacher Mentor Heather Puhl who leads a support session for initial candidates. “These meetings provide information on each of the components (facilitated by recent candidates) as well as targeted information about the writing process and evaluating the portfolio,” Puhl said. “These sessions also promote collaboration among teachers and provide a distraction-free environment to independently plan and seek answers to questions that arise throughout the process.”

North Carolina continues to offer an attractive 12 percent salary supplement to teachers’ regular pay, good for the 5-year life of the certification, and teachers are awarded eight continuing education credits (CEUs). The state also offers a low-interest loan to pay the $1,900 assessment fee along with three paid release days from normal teaching duties for new candidates to develop their portfolios. 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. Participation in the national certification process is voluntary and certification is currently available to educators in 25 different fields.

Because of conditions caused by COVID-19, candidates had the option to submit the required materials for national certification in May of 2020 and get their results in December or defer to October of 2020 and receive results in February 2021. The district anticipates notification of additional teachers receiving national board certification in February.