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Three FCPS Teachers Earn National Board Certification

March 5, 2021

Lisa Jones, a third-grade teacher at C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary School, Wendy Miller, a preschool teacher at W.G. Coleman Elementary School and France ter Weele, a world language teacher at Taylor Middle School and Cedar Lee Middle School, have been named National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). Out of the 25 Board disciplines, Jones earned certification in Middle Childhood Generalist, Miller earned certification in Early Childhood Generalist and ter Weele earned certification in World Languages.

National Board Certification signifies the highest mark of professional accomplishment in teaching. Teachers achieve certification through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete.

“The process allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in their classrooms, and demonstrate their dedication to their students and their profession,” said Kim Raines, secondary teacher on assignment, who serves as the lead candidate support provider for FCPS.

The newly named NBCTs agree that although the certification path is rigorous, the professional growth benefits are well worth the effort.

Miller identified the NBCT process as one of the best professional development experiences she has ever had. “My mind hasn't stopped growing since I started this whole process,” she said.

There are four components required to earn certification. Each component focuses on the candidate’s knowledge and mastery of a different standard content knowledge, differentiation in instruction, teaching practice and learning environment, and effective and reflective practitioner.

“This process had me reflect in-depth on my process, my relationships with students, and my interactions with colleagues and administration,” Jones said. 

“It is hard work; it takes time, mentally and physically. However, every teacher who has attained certification knows that the process is an effective way of raising the level of excellence in content knowledge and pedagogy for teachers,” Raines said.

National Board candidates receive on-going support throughout the certification process.  Candidates meet multiple times throughout the school year with veteran NBCTs and fellow current candidates as they work through the process.

“I would not consider this an easy, quick task, but using resources like the National Board Facebook groups, books published about the process, Kim’s opt-out sessions and local education communities, it is possible,” said ter Weele.

Teachers who are interested in the NBCT process can read about it at www.nbpts.org or contact Kim Raines at kraines@fcps1.org.