Five teachers earn National Board certification

Five Beaufort County teachers have earned the prestigious National Board certification, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Adding five new teachers increased the district’s overall total to 150 National Board Certified teachers — about 9 percent of its teaching force.

“This is a difficult process to complete, there’s no doubt about that,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “It’s long, it’s demanding, and it requires teachers to closely analyze and evaluate their teaching strategies.  And when teachers improve their classroom instruction, students win.”

Beaufort’s newest National Board Certified teachers are:

• Nicole Bossak (Coosa Elementary)

• Jenna Ehmann (Riverview Charter)

• Donna Lorenz (M.C. Riley Elementary)

• Janet Miscavage (Pritchardville Elementary)

• Samantha Szwak (Hilton Head Island Middle).

Statewide, 136 new National Board Certified teachers brought the state’s total to 8,820, ranking South Carolina third in the nation after North Carolina and Florida.

A research study by the National Research Council of the National Academies found that the NBPTS advanced teacher certification program has a positive impact on student achievement, teacher retention and professional development. The NRC study found that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than students of non-board-certified teachers.

Across the country, most states provide salary incentives and cover the cost for teachers who pursue and achieve national certification. In Beaufort County, nationally certified teachers earn a $1,334 annual bonus, in addition to the annual bonus paid by the state for the 10-year life of the certificate.

Certification candidates undertake a two-part process that lasts one to three years.  It requires them to reflect on their classroom practices, their understanding of subject material and their preparation techniques. In addition to preparing a portfolio with videotapes of classroom teaching, lesson plans, student work samples and reflective essays, teachers must complete assessment center exercises based on content knowledge to prove not only that they have mastered the subjects they teach, but also that they know how to teach them.

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