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December 9, 2011

Kansas Educators Achieve National Board Certification

Thirteen Kansas educators achieved first-time certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2011, according to an announcement from NBPTS this week.

National board certification is recognized nationwide as a model for identifying accomplished teaching practice.

Newly certified teachers are:

USD 229 Blue Valley – MaryAnn James, Kimberly Kime, Elizabeth McKnight

USD 233 Olathe – Lindsey Colling, Lisa Frahm, & Dena Steen

USD 244 Burlington – Lori Hamilton

USD 259 Wichita - Deann Nelson & Raj Narayan Sharma

USD 379 Clay Center – Karla Fickes

USD 475 Geary County – Jean Johnson

USD 446 Indepence – Amy Baxter Compton

USD 497 Lawrence – Deena Amont

While the process is often misunderstood to mean a teacher passed a test or was nominated for the award, Dr. Roger Caswell explained National Board 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.

“This process of board certification is very much like how a doctor becomes certified in a special area,” Caswell said. Caswell is the 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.”

While state licensing systems set the basic requirements to teach in each state, National Board Certified Teachers have demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. National certification takes from one to three years to complete.

The accomplishment of national board certification benefits the teachers, the schools they work in, and studies have shown NBCTs improve student learning. And the program hosted at ESU, Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification, benefits as it maintains an 80% rate with candidates achieving initial on their first attempt. This is twice the national initial certification rate of 40%. More information about ESU’s program can be found at www.emporia.edu/jones/nbpts/.

On December 7, National Board Certification was celebrated at a White House event heralding the newest class of 6,266 board certified teachers, which brings to nearly 100,000 the total number of board certified teachers in the U.S.


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 355 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/

Kansas is 36th in the nation in total number of NBCTs. The state is 34th in the number of new NBCTs.