November 15, 2012

Blue Valley Teachers Measure Up – Again

Ronda Hassig

Ronda Hassig


Teresa Hogan

Teresa Hogan


Rebecca Stith Munson

Stith Munson



Ann Schuster

Ann Schuster

Four teachers in the Blue Valley USD 229 school district have renewed the highest credential available to American educators as a National Board Certified Teacher through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

A decade ago, during the 2002-03 school year, Ronda Hassig, Teresa Hogan, Rebecca Stith Munson, and Ann Schuster went through the challenging year-long process of becoming National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).

A year ago, they decided to renew their certificates as the life of their original 10-year certificates was soon to expire.

In late October the educators were told their work had measured up when they received notice their national board certifications were renewed.

Hassig, a library media specialist at Harmony Middle School, renewed her certificate in early childhood through young adulthood / library media.

Hogan, who teaches algebra 1 and 2 at Blue Valley Northwest High School, renewed her certificate in early adolescence / mathematics.

Stith Munson, an education technology specialist at USD 229’s district office, renewed her certificate in early childhood through young adulthood / library media.

Schuster, a library media specialist at Valley Park Elementary, renewed her certificate in early childhood through young adulthood / library media.

These four teachers are among the 46 NBCTs working in USD 229.

“This process of board certification is similar to how a doctor becomes certified in a special area,” said Dr. Roger Caswell, former director of Emporia State University’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.’”

The process is often misunderstood to mean a teacher passed a test or was nominated for the award. Alvin Peters, the current director of the program, adds, “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.”

A recent comprehensive study by the nonpartisan National Research Council found that students taught by board certified teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than students taught by other teachers.

ESU’s Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification maintains a 100% renewal rate with candidates achieving recertification on their first attempt. This is the eighth consecutive year the center’s renewal rate has reached 100%. More information about ESU’s program can be found at

Kansas currently has a total of 355 national board certified teachers. Nationwide, the total number of national board certified teachers is more than 97,000.