Kentucky recognized 85 teachers newly certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) during a Feb. 10 virtual ceremony.
According to Peggy Brookins, NBPTS president and chief executive officer, Kentucky had the 8th-largest class of newly certified National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) nationally. These educators join more than 4,100 teachers across the state who have gone through this highly reflective and transformative professional development, with nearly 1,400 of their colleagues currently pursuing certification.
“Not only do these teachers love their job, they are really, really good at it. They are truly and wholly committed to their students.” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “This is a highly transformative process in professional development. It is long, it is intense and it is time-consuming. And – it is voluntary. At the end of the day, their certification provides a direct benefit to students in the classroom.”
“On behalf of all of us at the Kentucky Department of Education and the state Board of Education, we are so proud of you, and we are honored to highlight the work and sacrifices you made to get to this day.”
With the help of Glass, Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Brookins praised the Commonwealth for establishing a “landscape in Kentucky that values accomplished teaching.”
“In the 2020-21 school year, the Commonwealth had more new National Board Certified Teachers than 41 other states,” said Brookins.
She also challenged the honorees to “seize this opportunity to use your expertise, to serve as teacher leaders, to represent the profession, and to serve as change agents.”
During the ceremony, Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation designating Feb. 10 as National Board Certified Teacher Day in Kentucky.
While recognizing that the process of getting National Board certification is not easy, Gov. Beshear thanked all the honorees.
“We need more teachers like you,” said Beshear. “As a dad to two young kids, we are truly grateful for all you do. You are the future of our educational system and the future of molding the great leaders of tomorrow for this Commonwealth.”
Lt. Gov. Coleman, who also is an educator, acknowledged how difficult the past two years have been for teachers.
“You are the best of the best. Your job is more critical than it has ever been,” said Coleman. “The future of Kentucky’s economy is in your classrooms today, and because of you, I know that this future is bright.”
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 at least three years of classroom experience and a teaching license. 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 National Board certification, Kentucky teachers currently holding a Rank II certificate are eligible to apply for Rank I status, and those currently holding a Rank III certificate are eligible to apply for Rank II.
Also attending the virtual ceremony were Kentucky Board of Education member Holly Bloodworth; Kentucky NBCT Network President Sarah Yost; Kentucky NBCT Network Board Member Marcus Blackeney; Kentucky Education Association President Eddie Campbell; all newly certified teachers; Brigitte Blom, president and CEO of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; and Audrey Gilbert, a junior at Frankfort High School, member of the Kentucky Student Voice Team and 2021-22 Educators Rising National Student Ambassador.
The Feb. 10 virtual ceremony was hosted by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky NBCT Network.