Wash. schools boost number of board certified teachers

Washington state and Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) continue to increase their numbers of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).

At the state level, Washington continued its fourth consecutive year of being the state with the second highest number of new NBCTs, with 575 in total, and landed in fourth overall in the total number of NBCTs with 6,817.

Federal Way placed 12th in the nation overall at the district level, with 30 new NBCTs, joining three other Washington districts in the top 20.

The NBCT certification is a high-level of professional development, and is believed to help make teachers more effective in every facet of their teaching.

"I salute all teachers who have accepted the challenge of pursuing National Board Certification and I heartily congratulate the 30 who have achieved this professional distinction this year,” Superintendent Rob Neu commented. “The process of simply preparing for national board certification has a positive impact on a teacher’s skills.  I’m proud that this district and state support teachers who are working hard to be the best that they can be.”The process requires teachers to submit a "four-part portfolio and a six-exercise content and pedagogy assessment." Those entries are used to show a teachers success in the classroom as determined by student achievement. Their portfolio is then assessed by a national panel of their peers.

For State Superintendent Randy Dorn, these continued numbers of new NBCTs is an encouraging sign.

"I've been a strong supporter of the National Board program for years now," Dorn said. "All the certified teachers I've talked to said the process was great. It made them look deeply into their teaching habits. Many of them became better teachers. And that results in better students."

This increase in more highly trained teachers comes from a partnership of Gov. Christine Gregoire, the Washington Education Association (WEA), Dorn's office, and the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession.

On top of that, the bipartisan support within the state Legislature is credited for the increase in getting more teachers certified as NBCTs.

"Once again Washington teachers have demonstrated their skill and commitment to their students," Gregoire said. "This year's new National Board Certificate holders continue a proud tradition to grow and focus on student learning."

WEA president Mary Lundquist also applauded the teachers in their diligence to improve themselves professionally.

"I'm proud of the educators across Washington state who have stepped up to the rigorous National Board Certification process," she said. "Those newly certified join an impressive group of other NBCTs who are active leaders in improving public education, including many serving as association leaders. Washington is widely recognized as a leader in the National Board Certification movement, and WEA is a committed partner in that effort."

More than 30 percent of Washington's new NBCTs teach in a "challenging school," while overall, that number sits at 25 percent of all NBCTs in the state.

FWPS newly certified teachers are: Diya Bailey, Brianne Ball, Cherie Blair, Alyse Bruce, Rasa Conklin, Rebecca Crawford, Edward Crossan, Amy Davis, Amy Deboie, Vicky Drury, Chelsea Gallagher, Erik Grotzke, Cassie Halladin, Amy Heritage-McDonald, Cynthia Hubbard, Jennifer Mark, Angela Mattson, Jennifer Mckay, Patricia Ramos, Paul Ruston, Charlene Sewell, Sara Stephens, Malia Sturgeon, Michael Tarling, Pamela Taylor, Patrice Turner, Kay Walls, Elizabeth Willard, Heather Wren and Stephanie Wright.

Francine Oishi, the Teaching For Learning program specialist in charge of the national board certification program for FWPS, said these teachers' success is contingent upon a number of other people coming together to help these teachers improve.

"The heart of the success of the program is the facilitators and the guest NBCTs," she said. "They are committed to the success of the candidates in their cohorts and invest hours in personalized support."

For more information, visit or the National Board for Teaching Standards website at


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