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Teachers earn prestigious national certification

Teachers earn National Board Certification, rank among the best in the nation 

Twelve outstanding teachers in Gaston County Schools have earned National Board Certification, which is the highest standard for the teaching profession.  The certification is made available through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

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.

“Becoming a National Board Certified Teacher was a rigorous, but rewarding experience,” said Sara White of Southwest Middle School.  “The process allowed me to show my students firsthand the importance of one’s education and achieving long-term goals.  Throughout my journey, I became a stronger teacher, leader, and mentor for my students.” 

White added, “Being a teacher is an important part of who I am.  The certification process helped me to refocus and ensure I give 100 percent to my students daily.”

Teachers pursuing National Board Certification have three years to complete four different components.  One component is a computer-based assessment on the content knowledge within the certification area.  The other three components are portfolio requirements.  Teachers submit written reflections, student work samples, two videos of teaching and student interaction, and evidence of accomplished teaching in the areas of differentiation in instruction, teaching practice and learning environment, and being an effective and reflective practitioner.

For Angela Molla of Catawba Heights Elementary, obtaining National Board Certification was the next step for her in the teaching profession.

“I pushed myself to achieve this goal through hard work and reflection so that I could be a better educator for the students I teach,” explained Molla. “The pandemic delayed my opportunity to submit my portfolio components in the spring, but with the support of my principal and coworkers, I was able to submit my portfolio in the fall.  It is wonderful to achieve such a feeling of accomplishment in my career.”

Teachers in North Carolina who achieve certification receive a 12 percent salary supplement and are awarded eight continuing education credits.

Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker stated, “We are extremely proud of our National Board Certified Teachers, and we would like to congratulate each one of them for achieving this milestone in their professional career.”

Dr. Booker continued, “National Board Certification is an assurance to parents, students, and the community that the teachers being honored have met the profession’s highest standards for accomplished practice.  National Board Certified Teachers not only strengthen the teaching profession, but they also help our students to be more successful and achieve at higher academic levels.”

Currently, 178 teachers who are working in Gaston County Schools have met the rigorous standards to achieve National Board Certification.

The following teachers achieved National Board Certification during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years.  The list includes the teacher’s certification area.

Savanna Abernathy, Bessemer City Central Elementary, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood 

Brittany Beam, Bessemer City Central Elementary, Career and Technical Education/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood

Jennifer Gerow, Forestview High School, English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Kody Kubbs, South Point High School, Social Studies-History/Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Kerri Luksa, Cramerton Middle School, English Language Arts/Early Adolescence

Natalie Mackey, McAdenville Elementary, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood

Angela Molla, Catawba Heights Elementary, Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood

Karen Palomino, Sadler Elementary, English as a New Language/Early and Middle Childhood

Matthew Renegar, Highland School of Technology, Mathematics/Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Victoria Sain, Gaston Early College High School, Mathematics/Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Lacey Walters, Bessemer City Central Elementary, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood

Sara White, Southwest Middle School, Career and Technical Education/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood

In addition, Gaston County Schools had 39 teachers to renew their National Board Certification.  Certification must be renewed every 10 years. 

North Carolina continues to lead the nation in the number of teachers (more than 23,000) who achieve certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  The Tar Heel State accounts for nearly one-fifth of all teachers nationally who obtain the certification.  Florida, Washington, South Carolina, and California round out the top five states for National Board Certification. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gaston County Schools has not been able to recognize the teachers achieving National Board Certification during an in-person reception, which has been a tradition.  The plan is to hold an in-person ceremony in spring 2022 to honor the outstanding educators earning their certification since the 2019-2020 year.