Three area teachers earn board certification


National certification

Each teacher who attains National Board Certification has to pass 10 assessments that are reviewed by successful educators who teach in the same subject area as that teacher. The assessments include six constructed-response exercises that demonstrate a teacher’s knowledge of content and four portfolio entries.

Source: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

School District 51 added three educators to its list of National Board Certified Teachers this year.

Broadway Elementary teachers Lisa David, Kevin Hardy and Kim Smith are the newest board-certified teachers in the district. Forty District 51 teachers, including the three new ones, have been certified in the district. Thirty-one currently are working in the district.

National Board Certification is awarded to teachers who pass a voluntary assessment program that measures how effective and knowledgeable teachers are in their craft.

Certification is good for 10 years. One District 51 teacher, Shawn Carstensen Hays of Orchard Avenue Elementary School, had her certification renewed this year.

District 51 ranks fifth in the state for board-certified teachers, behind only Denver Public Schools (78 board certified teachers), Boulder Valley School District (77), Cherry Creek School District (76) and Douglas County School District (49). District 51 is the 12th-largest school district in Colorado.

The national pass rate for board certification is 50 percent, so it’s not a given each teacher’s nearly 300 hours of work spent on getting certified will end in success, District 51 board-certified teacher Laura Johnson said. Johnson, who coordinates information about getting certified for district employees, said the four portfolios and six exams teachers have to take to get certified force them to examine what works and what doesn’t in the classroom.

“It’s all-consuming, but changes you as a teacher forever,” she said.

Sixty-five teachers earned board certification in Colorado this year, meaning there are 13.5 percent more board certified teachers this year than last year in the state. Colorado ranks 26th in the nation for number of teachers to ever earn board certification. More than 91,000 teachers are board certified nationwide.


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