JIEE press release header

November 9, 2011

Teachers Measure Up – Again


Is your teacher national board certified?

They are among the best teachers in the profession, undergoing a rigorous process taking at least one year.

They are told to expect a 400-hour time commitment, and less than half will pass on their first try.

National Board Certified Teachers represent less than one percent of all educators in Kansas, reflecting the dedication and skill required to earn the elite certification. The voluntary process is the equivalent of national board certification for physicians and other health professions.

Some 318 teachers in Kansas are national board-certified, with many teaching in larger school districts.

School District        

Total # Certified

Blue Valley








Geary County


To see a list of National Board Certified Teachers in Kansas, go to www.nbpts.org/resources/nbct_directory/.

Kansas is 35th in the nation in total number of NBCTs.

By late November teachers who worked toward initial certification during the 2010-11 school year will find out if they achieved National Board Certification.

One hundred percent of the Kansas educators mentored through a program at Emporia State University in 2010-11 achieved the highest honor of the teaching profession, each for a second time.

The teachers were notified in late October the work they had done had – once again – measured up. The teachers are:

Augusta, USD 402 – Leann Buethner, Augusta Middle School

Blue Valley, USD 229 –

  • Nicole Miller, Blue Valley Middle School
  • Dr. Rick Pribyl, Blue Valley Northwest High School
  • Athena Sullivan, Blue Valley Middle School

Geary County, USD 475 –

  • Linda Bongers, Coordinator of Library Media Services
  • Anneliece Kowalik, Junction City Middle School
  • Michelle McDaniel, Junction City Middle School
  • Mary Jane Witt, Lincoln Elementary

Hays, USD 489 – Lisa Colwell, Hays High School

Maize, USD 266 – Monte Slaven, Maize South Middle School

Manhattan-Ogden, USD 383 –

  • Kent Dick, Susan B. Anthony Middle School
  • Lou Ann Getz, Susan B. Anthony and Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle Schools

Olathe, USD 233 –

  • Sandra Ames, Heatherstone Elementary School
  • Julie Miller, Instructional Resource Center
  • Kate Thompson, Olathe Northwest High School

Riley County, USD 378 – Julie Doyen, Riley County Grade and High Schools

Topeka, USD 501 – Paul Gronquist, Topeka High School

Wellsville, USD 289 – Rebecca Potter, Wellsville Elementary School

Emporia State University –
Dr. Roger Caswell, Director, Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification

Kansas National Education Association – Karen Godfrey, Vice President

KS Dept of Education –
Joyce Huser, Fine Arts Education Consultant

Within the last 10 years, the teachers from across the state went through the challenging year-long process of becoming National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). A year ago, each of them decided to go through the process to renew their certificates, as the life of their original 10-year certificate was about to expire.

“This process of board certification is very much like how a doctor becomes certified in a special area,” said Dr. Roger Caswell, director of ESU’s program which assists teachers working toward national certification. “This is voluntary – no state, school district, or program is demanding them to go through this process. That’s why – a decade after earning their certification the first time – it’s a huge commitment to say, ‘Yes, I want to do it again.’”

While the national board process is often misunderstood to mean that a teacher passed a test or was nominated for the award, Caswell explained the certification is a different kind of honor. Teachers must submit extensive documentation of their instruction, including videos of their students at work in the classroom.

The accomplishment of national board certification benefits the teachers, the schools they work in, and studies have shown NBCTs improve student learning.

The program hosted at ESU, Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification, benefits as it maintains a 100% renewal rate with candidates achieving recertification on their first attempt. More information about ESU’s program can be found at www.emporia.edu/jones/nbpts/.

Kansas currently has a total of 318 national board certified teachers. Nationwide, the total number of national board certified teachers is more than 91,000.


National Board Certification is the highest credential in the teaching profession. A voluntary process established by NBPTS, certification is achieved through a rigorous performance-based assessment that takes between one and three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and school counselors should know and be able to do. The program for providing professional support for the certification has been available at ESU since 1993.