Some of the 219 Kentucky educators who make up the most recent class of National Board Certified Teachers pose for a photo at the Kentucky State Capitol. Photo by Mike Marsee, Feb. 11, 2020

Some of the 219 Kentucky educators who make up the most recent class of National Board Certified Teachers pose for a photo at the Kentucky State Capitol. Kentucky’s 2019 class, which was recognized at a ceremony in Frankfort, was the fifth-largest class of newly certified NBCTs in the nation.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Feb. 11, 2020

(FRANKFORT, KY) – A total of 219 Kentucky educators were recognized Feb. 11 for recently obtaining the highest possible certification in the teaching profession, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Kentucky had the fifth-largest class of newly certified National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) nationally in 2019 and ranks sixth in the nation for the percentage of teachers who are board-certified (9.53%) and eighth in the nation for the overall number of NBCTs, with 4,007 educators having earned their certifications.

“The road to obtaining National Board certification is difficult — the process involves hundreds of hours of work and can take up to three years of commitment,” Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown said.

“I am incredibly proud of each of these talented and accomplished educators,” Brown added. “Obtaining National Board certification is a very rigorous process that requires a lot of personal sacrifice and because it is a voluntary process, it speaks volumes about the dedication that these teachers have to reaching high standards for themselves and their students.”

Kentucky has consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally for the number of National Board Certified Teachers.

During Tuesday’s event, Gov. Andy Beshear presented each educator with an official pin from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

“Congratulations to some of the brightest and most dedicated educators in Kentucky on becoming National Board Certified Teachers,” Beshear said. “My administration appreciates our educators and values their commitment to improving our families and communities in Kentucky. Our teachers are the foundation and we simply cannot build a brighter future without them.”

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, who is an educator, was unable to attend the recognition ceremony but sent her congratulations to the newly certified teachers.

“The National Board certification process is rigorous and underscores what this administration knows to be true: Kentucky teachers are committed to improving the lives of our students and preparing them for the future,” Coleman said. “Your dedication to our children inspires us. As a fellow teacher, I celebrate this remarkable accomplishment with you.”

Beshear read a proclamation designating Feb. 11 as National Board Certified Teacher Day in Kentucky. In addition to their pins, the teachers received legislative citations and were invited to tour the House of Representatives and Senate chambers at the Kentucky State Capitol.

Also speaking at Tuesday’s ceremony were Terry Holliday, chairman of the board of directors of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards; Lisa Clarke, director of improvement for NBPTS; and Eddie Campbell, president of the Kentucky Education Association. Clarke and Campbell also are National Board Certified Teachers.

This large class of new NBCTs represents the second to be certified in the latest version of the certification process. The National Board revised the process to be more flexible and accommodating; it can be completed in one to three years while maintaining high and rigorous standards.

Kentucky currently has more than 600 teachers who are candidates in the certification process.

The road to obtaining National Board certification is challenging — the process requires nearly 400 hours of time and effort to achieve.

Educators must submit a detailed portfolio that includes examples of student work, an outline of what teachers have done outside of the classroom to improve student achievement and video recordings that show how they teach and interact with students. In addition, they must submit a reflective piece on student assessment and learning and then take a rigorous exam to demonstrate they have mastered the content of their chosen certification area.

National Board certification is voluntary and open to all teachers who have three years of classroom experience and a bachelor’s degree. Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from preschool through 12th grade.

Kentucky has strong statewide support for National Board certification. NBCTs are entitled to an annual $2,000 salary bonus for the life of their certificate.

Upon successful completion of Board certification, Kentucky teachers currently holding a Rank II certificate are eligible to apply for Rank I status.

Tuesday’s ceremony was hosted by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky NBCT Network.