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County schools among best in nation for percentage of certified teachers

Henderson County Public Schools is one of 81 districts nationwide recognized by the National Board Accomplished Districts for having at least 20% of its teachers board certified, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced last week.

The 81 Accomplished Districts come from 10 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. The top three districts by percent of NBCTs are Piedmont City School Districts in Alabama, Bellevue School District 405 in Washington and Nashville Community HSD 99 in Illinois.

The most nationally respected professional certification available in K-12 education, National Board certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 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.

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

In 2018-19, 177 of HCPS educators (teachers, counselors, administrative staff, etc.) held National Board Certification – 159 of whom were actively teaching in the classroom – and N.C. Department of Public Instruction data from 2017-18 shows HCPS has an average per-classroom rate exceeding that of the state.

“In Henderson County Public Schools, we are proud to be among the top districts nationwide being recognized as National Board Accomplished Districts,” said Dr. Jan King, the school system's assistant superintendent for curriculum & instruction. “We encourage and support our teachers seeking National Board certification by offering quality, local 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.