Nine teachers at Frederick County Public Schools recently brought the number of FCPS educators who have achieved rigorous certification requirements established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) to 65. To earn national board certification, they were required to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through an extensive year-long series of performance-based assessments, which included preparation of teaching portfolios and videotapes, submission of student work samples, and analyses of their classroom teaching and student learning. They also completed a series of written exercises that probed the depth of their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.
Achieving National Board Certification in December 2018 and Board of Education recognition on February 13 were Jessica Kachur, Ashley Lancaster, Joseph ‘Tom’ Mitchell, Maria O’Toole, Kristen Rowe, Mark Trice, Anita Waravdekar, Melissa Watson, and Sarah Yoder. Attending the Board meeting were NBPTS Outreach and Engagement Director April Jones, Hood College Education Department Chairperson Dr. Christy Graybeal, and Hood College National Board Support instructor Andrea Robinson-Tejada.
“Each of the nationally certified teachers has set high standards of professional excellence,” said Dr. Terry Alban, FCPS Superintendent. “In demonstrating the value of lifelong learning, they are excellent role models for their students.”
Asserting that the single most important action the nation can take to improve student performance is to strengthen teaching, NBPTS set out in 1987 to identify the knowledge and skills that characterize accomplished teachers. The process of achieving national certification, requiring intense self-reflection and analysis of one’s practice, has proven to be a terrific professional development experience, according to the NBPTS.
Many states and school districts encourage their teachers to seek national certification. Several, including Maryland, help to pay the fee for course work and assessments for national certification. FCPS offers financial assistance to teachers seeking certification and pays teachers who hold NBPTS certification $2,000 per year more than their non-NBPTS-certified peers during the five-year span of each national certificate.
Left to right in the photo:
Front row—Sarah Yoder, Melissa Watson, Anita Waravdekar, Mark Trice, Kristen Rowe, Maria O’Toole, Joseph Mitchell, Ashley Lancaster, Jessica Kachur
Back row—Student Board of Education Member Paige Tolbard, BOE members Michael Bunitsky, Dr. Lois Jarman and Karen Yoho, FCPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Michael Markoe, BOE President Brad W. Young, and BOE members Jay Mason and Liz Barrett