RALEIGH – North Carolina continues to lead the nation with the most teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
Nearly 22,000 teachers in North Carolina have attained the certification (including 557 last month), which typically takes one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know.
Candidates build portfolios that include student work samples, assignments and an analysis of their classroom teaching.
Teachers from Union County Public Schools that earned certification include:
• Career and Technical Education – Laura Gardner and Elizabeth Higginbotham.
• Exceptional Needs Specialist – Ebony Johnson and Diana Selzer.
• Generalist – Jennifer Elliott, Kimberly Jarzombek, Cheryl Konopka and Felicia Moore.
• Literacy: Reading-Language Arts – Jan Lepley and Jaquelyn Saya.
• Mathematics – Robert Howard and Heather Schreiber.
• Science – Amanda Starnes.
North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson said students benefit from national certification, which helps teachers become highly effective in the classroom by reaching high standards.
“Teachers who gain national certification go through a process of learning themselves to hone their practice and demonstrate mastery as teachers,” Johnson said.
North Carolina accounts for nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of all teachers nationally who are certified. Nationally certified teachers also account for 22 percent of the state’s total teaching force.
Seven school districts in North Carolina ranked among the top 30 districts nationally for numbers of certified teachers, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (fourth with 2,137) and Union County (30th with 448).
Certified teachers in North Carolina receive a 12 percent salary supplement to their regular pay and eight continuing education credits. The state provides low-interest loans to pay the $1,900 assessment fee and three paid release days from normal teaching duties for new candidates to develop portfolios.