• Gaston County Schools honors teachers for earning National Board Certification

    Gaston County Schools honored 11 teachers during a reception on Thursday, April 11 at the Gaston Early College High School to celebrate the teachers’ achievement of earning National Board Certification.  The certification is considered to be the highest credential in the teaching profession.  

    Truliant Federal Credit Union sponsored the National Board Certified Teachers Reception.  The event was recorded, and the video is airing at various times on Spectrum Channel 21, the Education Station for Gaston County Schools.  The video is also available on the school district’s website and YouTube channel.  

    National Board Certification is made possible through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which is an independent organization that establishes high expectations for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

    To rank among the best in the nation, teachers earning National Board Certification must demonstrate their knowledge and skills through an extensive series of performance-based assessments.  The teachers spend time examining and reflecting on all aspects of their teaching methods and classroom management.  Going through the National Board Certification process is one of the most difficult things a teacher can do.

    Across the United States, more than 130,000 educators have achieved National Board Certification, and North Carolina continues to lead the country in the number of National Board Certified Teachers.  In Gaston County, almost 400 teachers have achieved National Board Certification since the program started in 1996.

    The National Board Certified Teachers Reception is held every two years.  Below is a list of the teachers who were recognized for achieving national certification in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024:

    Hannah Allen teaches fifth grade at Rankin Elementary School.  She has been a teacher for eight years.  Allen obtained a bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel University, and her National Board Certification is for Literacy: Early and Middle Childhood.

    “It has helped me become a better educator. It has shown me that constantly reflecting on my practice is critical in growing students and helping them become successful,” said Allen.

    Ashleigh Arceo is a school counselor at Highland School of Technology.  She has been a school counselor for six years.  Arceo earned a bachelor’s degree from Franklin University and received a graduate degree from Capella University.  Her National Board Certification is for School Counseling-Early Childhood through Young Adulthood.

    “Earning my certification means that I am committed to the school counseling profession and promoting the well-being of students. It also means growing professionally and challenging myself to be the best counselor I can be,” said Arceo.

    Samuel Bruce teaches biology and earth and environmental science at Stuart W. Cramer High School.  He has been a teacher in Gaston County for 11 years.  Bruce received a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Wilmington. His National Board Certification is for Science/Adolescence and Young Adulthood.

    Katherine Cochran of Holbrook Middle School has served as a classroom teacher for 15 years and is now an assistant principal intern through the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program.  Cochran received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Belmont Abbey College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in school administration from UNC-Charlotte.  Her National Board Certification is for Literacy: Reading/Language Arts.

    “As a National Board Certified Teacher, I know that I am able to ensure that all students will learn. This means that I cannot solely depend on myself to educate children, but that I must rely on resources, both human and tangible, to help each individual succeed,” said Cochran.

    Jennifer Cloninger teaches math at South Point High School.  Her National Board Certification is for Mathematics/Early Adolescence.

    Jenna Markwith teaches fourth grade at Hawks Nest STEAM Academy.  She has been a teacher for 17 years.  Markwith earned a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from National University in La Jolla, California and recently completed a second master’s degree from Appalachian State University.  Her National Board Certification is for Generalist/Middle Childhood.

    “Being a National Board Certified Teacher is a testament to continuous growth, professionalism, and commitment to excellence in education, ensuring every student receives the highest quality instruction tailored to their needs,” said Markwith.

    Tiffany Newsome teaches third grade at Hawks Nest STEAM Academy.  She has been a teacher for eight years.  She received a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Charlotte.  Her National Board Certification is for Exceptional Needs Specialist – Early Childhood through Young Adulthood/Mild and Moderate Disabilities.

    "Being a National Board Certified Teacher is something I am proud of accomplishing.  It took a lot of time and dedication and has pushed me to be a better teacher.   It has also pushed me to always continue learning and growing, which is what I try to instill in my students,” said Newsome.

    Kalisa Norman is a program coordinator from the Department of Exceptional Children.  She has been a teacher for 12 years. Norman received an undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University and a graduate degree from Western Carolina University.  Her National Board Certification is for Exceptional Needs Specialist – Early Childhood through Young Adulthood/Mild and Moderate Disabilities.

    “The process to get here certifies that my teaching practices and style are effective and impactful for student growth.  Through this process, I became more confident, and it gave me the motivation to continue to grow in the teaching profession,” said Norman.

    Jeanette Rios teaches first grade at Robinson Elementary School. She has been a teacher for 12 years.  Rios received a bachelor’s degree from University of Texas at Arlington.  Her National Board Certification is for Generalist/Early Childhood.

    “Being a National Board Certified Teacher is an affirmation of my journey as an educator. It represents the countless hours of dedication, self-reflection, and growth poured into my practice. It’s a validation of my profound connection with students and the transformative impact I strive to make in their lives every day,” said Rios. 

    Anita Ross teaches second grade at Carr Elementary School.  She has been a teacher for six years and served as a teacher assistant for 12 years.  Ross received a bachelor’s degree from Belmont Abbey College.  Her National Board Certification is for Generalist/Early Childhood.

    “It is an honor to be a National Board Certified Teacher.  This process equipped me with the knowledge to help all of my students reach their full potential,” said Ross.

    Allison Sisk is a kindergarten teacher at New Hope Elementary School.  She has been a teacher for 10 years.  Sisk received a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University. Her National Board Certification is for Generalist/Early Childhood with a Pre-Kindergarten add-on.

    “Being a National Board Certified Teacher represents my commitment to be reflective on my teaching, to never stop learning, and to be the best teacher that I can be for my students,” said Sisk.

Teachers renew National Board Certification

  • In addition to having 11 teachers earn the national certification during the past two school years, 31 teachers renewed their certification.  To maintain the National Board Certification, teachers must renew every 10 years.  

    Below is a list of the teachers who renewed their national certification:

    • Susan Allen, John Chavis Middle School
    • Kelly Brown, Cherryville Elementary School
    • Megan Christenbury, Lowell Elementary School
    • Terri Cochrane, North Gaston High School
    • Lynda Euchner, East Gaston High School
    • Alexandra Fitschen, Lowell Elementary School
    • Carla Fletcher, Bessemer City Primary School
    • Tiffany Hobbs, W.A. Bess Elementary School
    • Jamie Hoffman, Stuart W. Cramer High School
    • Jaime Keller, North Belmont Elementary School
    • Jessica Kimmel, Hunter Huss High School
    • Victoria Kiser, Highland School of Technology
    • Michelle Leagan, Brookside Elementary School
    • Jill Lenox, East Gaston High School
    • Kerri Lowe, Cramerton Middle School
    • Jennifer MacDonald, Stuart W. Cramer High School
    • Mindee Mammano, Stuart W. Cramer High School
    • Chris McKay, Forestview High School
    • Jennifer Melton, Brookside Elementary School
    • Jordan Paciocco, Chapel Grove Elementary School
    • Allison Park, Chapel Grove Elementary School
    • Katherine Plecnik, Academic Services
    • Audra Pressley, Mount Holly Middle School
    • Victoria Sain, Gaston Early College High School
    • Amy Schwartz, Cramerton Middle School
    • Laura Sexton, Stuart W. Cramer High School
    • Bridget Sleeper-Matzke, Highland School of Technology 
    • Natalie Spargo, McAdenville Elementary School
    • Terri Springer, Gaston Early College High School
    • Rhoda Verhosek, Chapel Grove Elementary School
    • Dustin Weaver, Stuart W. Cramer High School