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LPS Teachers Receive National Board Certification

LAWTON Okla_ Some Lawton teachers are being recognized as some of the best in the country.

Five LPS teachers earn board certification

Five teachers in the Lawton Public Schools have achieved National Board Certification, according to an announcement this week by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The five were among 73 Oklahoma educators who earned the teaching profession's top recognition this year.

Susan Hinson, a teacher at Pat Henry Elementary, earned National Board Certification in literacy/reading-language arts and early and middle childhood, while Susan Hohstadt at Whittier Elementary was certified in literacy/reading-language arts. Mary Beth Kwenda, a teacher at Eisenhower High, is now board-certified in adolescence and young adulthood/English language arts. Erin Mull at Pat Henry Elementary and Tanya Sims at Beginnings Academy were both certified as early childhood/generalists.

Oklahoma now has 3,056 National Board Certified teachers – and more than 50 of them are in the Lawton school system.

The 73 teachers ranks Oklahoma ninth nationally among states with teachers achieving National Board Certification. Nationwide, nearly 5,000 teachers achieved National Board Certification this year, bringing the total number certified to more than 102,000.

National Board Certification is a symbol of professional teaching excellence. A certificate will attest that a teacher was judged by his or her peers as one who is accomplished, makes sound professional judgments about students' best interests and acts effectively on those judgments. Since it is voluntary, National Board Certification complements – but does not replace – state licensing. While state-licensing systems set entry-level standards for novice teachers, National Board Certification establishes advanced standards for experienced teachers.

National Board Certification measures a teacher's practice against high and rigorous standards through an extensive series of performance-based assessments, which includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes or DVDs and thorough analyses of the candidate's teaching and the students' learning. The process involves written exercises that probe the depth of a candidate's subject-matter knowledge, as well as his or her understanding of how to teach those subjects.

Certification is voluntary and open to anyone with a baccalaureate degree and three years of classroom experience in either a public or private school. It is valid for 10 years, after which a teacher must seek renewal.

Those who earn National Board Certification are among the most effective teachers in today's classrooms. Not only do these teachers have a greater impact on student success, they also create a multiplying effect, helping fellow teachers understand and promote high-quality teaching and learning.

Board certified teachers promote higher student achievement, especially in low-performing schools. This is an asset to schools working to make adequate yearly progress as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

National Board Certification not only identifies accomplished teachers, but it is also a professional development experience for all candidates who go through the process, whether or not they achieve certification.

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