Teachers earn prestigious National Board Certification
Teachers earn prestigious National Board Certification
Six outstanding teachers in Gaston County Schools were recognized on Tuesday, March 28 during the National Board Certified Teachers Reception.
The teachers are part of an elite group of educators who 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).
Teachers earning National Board Certification must demonstrate their knowledge and skills through an extensive, year-long 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.
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 on achieving this milestone in their professional career.”
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 successful and achieve at higher academic levels.”
In Gaston County, more than 360 teachers have met the rigorous standards and achieved National Board Certification since the program began in 1996.
The following teachers achieved National Board Certification for 2016-2017:
▪ SUSAN BRITTAIN – Catawba Heights Elementary School Susan Brittain teaches first grade and has been a teacher for 19 years. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and her National Board Certification is for Early Childhood/Generalist.
About her experience as a teacher, Brittain said: “I am a teacher because I want to have a positive influence on my community and its future by helping to educate our children. As a first grade teacher, I get to enjoy watching the students grow so many levels from non-readers to readers. I also enjoy watching their math conversations improve throughout the year as they learn and grow into thinkers.”
▪ JESSICA HARRIS – Highland School of Technology Jessica Harris teaches science at the Highland School of Technology and has been a teacher for nine years. She has bachelor’s degrees in biology and elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a master’s in science education from East Carolina University, and is pursuing a doctorate degree in curriculum: teaching, leading, and learning from Northeastern University. Her National Board Certification is for Science/Adolescent and Young Adulthood.
About her experience as a teacher, Harris said: “I am a teacher to inspire academic confidence and creativity in my students.”
▪ MATTHEW HIPPS – Ashbrook High School Matthew Hipps teaches Earth Science and Advanced Placement Chemistry at Ashbrook High School and has been a teacher for seven years. He has a bachelor’s degree in earth science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a master’s in middle and secondary education also from UNC-Charlotte. His National Board Certification is for Science/Adolescent and Young Adulthood.
About his experience as a teacher, Hipps said: “I am a teacher because I want to pass on my love of science to others and have a positive impact on the lives of my students by helping them reach their full potential.”
▪ ELIZABETH LEONARD – North Gaston High School Elizabeth Leonard teaches Chemistry at North Gaston High School and has been a teacher for eight years. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer graphics from Lenoir-Rhyne College, a master’s in interdisciplinary science from Mississippi State University, and a graduate certificate in school leadership from Appalachian State University. Her National Board Certification is for Science/Adolescent and Young Adulthood.
About her experience as a teacher, Leonard said: “I enjoy the daily challenges of meeting the diverse learning needs of my students. I also find joy in instilling a curiosity for science among the students I teach.”
▪ KRISTY NEWTON – Brookside Elementary School Kristy Newton teaches second grade at Brookside Elementary School and has been a teacher for 11 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Mount Union College in Ohio and a master’s degree in best practices from National University. Her National Board Certification is for Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood.
About her experience as a teacher, Newton said: “I love being a teacher because I know that all children can learn, and I have the wonderful job of discovering the way they learn and helping them reach their goals. There is nothing better than seeing children grow themselves as individuals and as learners.”
▪ DARA PRESNELL – Brookside Elementary School Dara Presnell teaches second grade at Brookside Elementary School and has been a teacher for 16 years. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. Her National Board Certification is for Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood.
About her experience as a teacher, Presnell said: “I am a teacher because I love that I can share new and exciting things with my students every day to help them grow as learners.”
In addition to the teachers who achieved National Board Certification in 2016-2017, the following educators earned their 10-year renewal of national certification:
• Diana Baxter, Lowell Elementary • Jennifer Christy, Carr Elementary • Amelia Clemmons, Holbrook Middle • Lisa Creech, Bessemer City Middle • Sarah Crisp, Brookside Elementary • Deborah Crone, Forestview High • Samantha Gibby, Bessemer City Primary • Melissa Glover, South Point High • Donna Griffith, W.A. Bess Elementary • Teresa Harrill, Cherryville Elementary • Millicent Heavner, Tryon Elementary • Melissa Pruitt, Belmont Middle • Sarah Putnam, Bessemer City Primary • Janet Ramsey, Forestview High • Tim Reed, East Gaston High • Jennifer Rhodes, Catawba Heights Elementary • Melanie Ross Sherrill, Cherryville Elementary • Carolyn Sanders, Grier Middle • Stephanie Stowe, Stuart W. Cramer High • Nancy Taliaferro, Highland School of Technology • Sharon Tolley, North Belmont Elementary • Melanie Weaver, Highland School of Technology • Jamee Webb, Highland School of Technology • Linda Wiegert, H.H. Beam Elementary • Cynthia Wilson, W.A. Bess Elementary
Congratulations to our National Board Certified Teachers!
Watch on Channel 21
The National Board Certified Teachers Reception will air April 5-9 at 9:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. on Channel 21. The video will be available on Gaston County Schools’ YouTube channel.
In compliance with federal law, Gaston County Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the school district's Title IX coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.