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School system honored for high percentage of board-certified teachers

Henderson County Public Schools has once again been honored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as a National Board Accomplished District, which recognizes districts in which at least 20 percent of teachers have achieved National Board certification.

Henderson County Public Schools is one of 79 districts nationwide the National Board Accomplished Districts program is honoring in 2021, recognizing districts that effectively drive student learning through high expectations of teaching standards.

The 79 Accomplished Districts come from ten states including Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. The top four districts by percent of NBCTs are Nashville Community HSD in Illinois Bellevue School District in Washington, Piedmont City School District in Alabama, and Tukwila School District in Washington.

“High quality teaching is the most important in-school factor impacting student learning,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT and president/CEO of the NBPTS. “The districts that meet the threshold to be included in the National Board Accomplished District program understand the value of quality teaching and support teachers to be their best.”

The most nationally respected professional certification available in K-12 education, National Board certification through the NBPTS is an optional intensive certification process with extremely high standards for teachers. As part of the certification process, candidates build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes, and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. The rigorous performance-based assessment typically takes one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.

“We encourage state and district leaders to support National Board certification because NBCTs have a measurable impact on student learning,” Brookins said. “Every student deserves the best possible teacher.”

With over 23,000 NBCTs in the state, North Carolina ranks #1 in the nation with the most certified teachers, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. In HCPS, 180 of HCPS educators (teachers, media coordinators, counselors, instructional coaches, administrators, etc.) held National Board Certification in 2020-2021 – 166 of whom were actively teaching, tutoring, and counseling in classrooms.

“We are so proud to have been recognized again as a National Board Accomplished District,” said Dr. Wendy Frye, HCPS Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services. “We celebrate the teachers who have achieved this status and continue to encourage and support our teachers seeking National Board certification. Locally, we offer quality, NBCT assistance and peer mentorship, including weekend sessions with a regional facilitator and peer mentors from within our own district.”

Districts will be recognized with an award for the district office and unique celebrations for the NBCTs in those districts.