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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Oldham County Schools are celebrating the success of 18 teachers who achieved National Board Certification in December.
According to a news release from Oldham County Schools, the district has the state's highest percentage of National Board Certified Teachers, with nearly 21% of all teachers attaining the certification.
National Board Certification is an in-depth process that provides teachers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully prepare students for 21st century careers.
This year's class of 18 new certifications is the third-highest in the state, behind the larger districts of Jefferson and Fayette Counties. Kentucky has the 10th-highest number of National Board Certified teachers in the country, and increased the number of certified teachers by 9.58% this year.
"Our teachers are learners, too," said Oldham County Schools Superintendent Will Wells. "We know that the best teachers are those who are constantly learning and improving, and we do everything we can to support our teachers in that endeavor. National Board Certification is a rigorous process that requires passion for and dedication to teaching. I'm humbled to work in a district where so many of our teachers are striving for that next level."
Recent cuts in state funding to support teachers during the certification process has left districts to pick up the slack. Previously, the state funded a $2,000 annual bonus for board-certified teachers, substitutes for five days for candidates to prepare, and funding for mentors and grants to offset fees associated with certification.
Now the district absorbs most of those costs. "Having the best teachers possible is key to our success -- and crucial as we compete on a global level against countries that are investing heavily in their teachers," Wells said.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan agrees.
"The stakes are high as expectations for students and teachers continue to rise with the demands of the global economy," Duncan said. "Students today must be able to solve problems by applying what they have learned in new and unexpected ways. As our nation's most accomplished educators, National Board Certified Teachers are well positioned to move our students, workforce, and country forward."
Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and chairman of the NBPTS Board of Directors, predicted that states and districts that actively cultivate NBCTs will leapfrog over others in their ability to produce career and college ready graduates.
"National Board Certification isn't just about identifying great teachers, it's about elevating the profession so that our children achieve at higher rates," Gov. Wise said. "Whether it is serving as a curriculum coach, leading effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards, or mentoring fellow teachers through the certification process, NBCTs have a ripple effect on teaching and learning that extends well beyond their classrooms."
Research has shown that the students of NBCTs outperform their peers in other classrooms. Most recently, a 2012 study by Harvard University's Strategic Data Project found that students of NBCTs in the Los Angeles Unified School District made learning gains equivalent to an additional two months of instruction in math and one month in English Language Arts. National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K−12th grades.
National Board Certified Teachers - Class of 2013
James T. Albritton , LaGrange Elementary Karen Bebelaar, Locust Grove Elementary Hillary Boles, Oldham County Middle School Catherine Canady, Kenwood Station Elementary Whitney Cox, Kenwood Station Elementary Allison Dawson, Locust Grove/La Grange/EOMS Travis Duvall, North Oldham Middle School Allison Flick, Camden Station Elementary Kip Hottman, Oldham County High School Victoria Houchens, Kenwood Station Elementary Ryan Kane, Oldham County Middle School Tobie Keown, Buckner Elementary Courtney Lowe, Camden Station Elementary Rebecca Moehlmann, Oldham County High School Taylor Norton, North Oldham High School Justin Romney, South Oldham High School Leslyn Rushing, Locust Grove Elementary Adam Watson, South Oldham High School