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Four schoolteachers earn National Board Certification

Four Henderson County public school teachers have recently earned National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards while 16 recertified their credentials in 2021.

The most nationally respected professional certification available in K-12 education, National Board Certification is an optional intensive certification process requiring high standards for teachers.

Teachers maintaining their NBCT certification through the recertification process were Christian Drake, Amanda Parr, Beverly Buckley, Cayley Icenhower, Candice Greedy, MaryWade Greiner, Bethany Phillis, Adam Chacon, Doyle Chambers, Gary Blackwell, Leanne Perry, Karen Maxon, Sherry Shipman, Alicia Allman, Sergey Zalevskiy and Dana Braznell.

Here are the newly certified teachers:

• Joanne Sims-Rickert has been a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing since 2015, teaching auditory skills, receptive/expressive vocabulary and language, oral language development, and hearing advocacy skills to preK-12 grade students in one-on-one settings. She provides teachers with strategies on how to work with students who have hearing loss, collaborating with audiologists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists and speech pathologists, and currently serves students at 14 school sites.

• Kindra Taylor is a health and physical education teacher at North Henderson High, where she’s been teaching since 2012. Taylor is also the Head Coach for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams, serves on the Teacher Lead Team, and is a member of the School Improvement Team at North.

• Kelsey Nock began her teaching career in 2014 at Rugby Middle School teaching English/language arts and social studies, and in 2021 became an Academically or Intellectually gifted (AIG) Specialist at the school. Foster also coaches Cross Country, co-leads the “Mountains to Sea” Field Trip for 8th graders, and has served as co-sponsor of Student Council at Rugby.

• Hannah Campbell has taught at Clear Creek Elementary since 2016, where she currently teaches 1st grade and serves as a mentor on many levels. Campbell serves as Grade Level Chair for 1st grade, and is also a member of Clear Creek’s School Improvement Team.

As a part of the initial certification process, new 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.

To keep certification active, NBCTs must successfully complete a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) every five years. Recently updated by the National Board, the 40-60 hour investment requires certified teachers to provide a written commentary describing Professional Growth Experiences in their careers that have significantly impacted student learning and involved collaboration, and illustrate the expectation that the educator has continued to grow professionally since certification.

“We celebrate this accomplishment with these distinguished educators and are so proud of their dedication to this process and all of the work and time it involved,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Wendy Frye.

“Additionally, we also want to thank our local Board of Public Education for continuing to support our teachers who seek National Board Certification with professional development and mentoring,” said Frye. “Through their support, our district is fortunate to have Lynn Carter – a former HCPS teacher – as facilitator who is committed to the success of our NBCT candidates.”

Currently 183 teachers in the school system are National Board Certified, and the district is one of only 79 National Board Accomplished Districts nationwide – districts in which at least 20 percent of teachers have achieved National Board certification.

With 23,418 certified teachers, North Carolina leads the nation in having the most teachers with the credential, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Of the 2,073 teachers who earned national certification for the first time in the 2020-2021 school year, North Carolina topped the list with 399.