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Kansas Teachers Achieve National Board Certification

January 9, 2018

Twenty-five Kansas educators are among the more than 4,000 nationwide who achieved the highest professional credential they can earn — they attained first-time certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2017.

National board certification is recognized nationwide as a model for identifying accomplished teaching practice. Teachers were notified in December if they achieved the certification they worked for during the the last school year.

Newly certified teachers are:

  • USD 229 Blue Valley – Lisa Bauman, Emily Brown, Lisa Cutler, Maria Derner, Jennifer Duggan, Victoria Reed, Michelle Scarpone, Jennifer Smith, Kim Stetina, Denise Thomas, Amy Young
  • USD 233 Olathe – Rachel Kufeldt
  • USD 259 Wichita – Greg Brown, Tonya Howard, Katherine Whepley
  • USD 260 Derby – Jennifer (Cady) Brown
  • USD 262 Valley Center – Christina Bauer
  • USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden –Stacy Harris
  • USD 437 Auburn-Washburn – Chelsea Artzer, Jennifer Howard, Amy Johnston, Nicole Meier
    USD 500 Kansas City, KS – Erin Schroeder
    USD 512 Shawnee Mission – Heather Bledsoe
    Lee’s Summit, MO – Emily Hobbs

“This process of board certification is similar to how a doctor becomes certified in a special area,” said Alvin Peters, 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 and each teacher can take from one to three years to complete the process.”

Before certification, teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, a valid state teaching license and three years experience in the classroom. With these new additions, Kansas now has a total of 435 national board certified teachers. To date, more than 112,000 teachers in all 50 states are NBCTs. Nearly 20,000 teachers nationwide are currently pursuing board certification.

The process is often misunderstood to mean a teacher passed a test or was nominated for the award. Peters 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.”

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, has a 76 percent initial certification rate over the past eight years. This is nearly twice the national initial certification rate of 40 percent.

The national board standards were created by teachers. The standards represent a consensus for 25 certificate areas in 16 disciplines, including art, English, mathematics, science, world languages, school education and physical education, from pre-kindergarten through high school and six student development levels from early childhood through adolescence.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was launched in 1987. A decade of research shows board-certified teachers positively impact student learning. The goal is to create standards for high-quality teaching and to professionalize teaching through licensure, following the lead of fields like medicine, engineering, and architecture. More information about ESU’s program can be found at



Achievement - Emporia State University

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