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Kansas Teachers Achieve Certification for the Second Time

December 11, 2018

One hundred percent of the educators mentored through a program at Emporia State University in 2017-18 achieved the highest honor of the teaching profession — for a second time.    

The 19 educators were notified recently that the work they had done toward certification had measured up. Eighteen work in Kansas K-12 schools; one is a university professor.

“This process of board certification is similar to how a doctor becomes certified in a special area,” said Alvin Peters, the director of the program that guides teachers through working towards their national board certificates. “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.

Peters added, “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.”

Emporia State’s Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification maintains a 100 percent renewal rate with candidates achieving recertification on their first attempt. This is the 14th consecutive year the center’s renewal rate has reached 100 percent.                                                                             

The educators renewing their certificates this year included:

Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas – Amanda Lea Davis, library media specialist at St. Thomas Aquinas High School; certificate area: library media/early childhood through young adulthood

Auburn-Washburn, USD 437 – Marlene McDaniel, eighth grade special education/English language arts teacher at Washburn Rural Middle School; certificate area: exceptional needs specialist/early childhood through young adulthood

Blue Valley, USD 229 – Amy Swan, instructional coach at Morse Elementary and Sunset Ridge Elementary Schools; certificate area: literacy: reading-language arts/early and middle childhood

Clay County Schools, USD 379 – Kristin Wright, director, mental health services; certificate area: school counseling/early childhood through young adulthood

Geary County, USD 475 – Dixie Coleman, principal at Sheridan Elementary School; certificate area: literacy: reading-language arts/early and middle childhood

Kansas City, USD 500 – Jennifer Holt, teacher leader at Whittier Elementary School and President of the Kansas City-Kansas chapter of the National Education Association; certificate area: literacy: reading-language arts/early and middle childhood

Lawrence, USD 497 –

  • Sherry Cleavinger-Perry, agricultural science teacher at Lawrence High School; certificate area: career and technical education/early adolescence through young adulthood
  • Lucinda Crenshaw, seventh grade earth science teacher at West Middle School; certificate area: generalist/middle childhood

Maize, USD 266 – Jay Super, horticulture & zoology teacher at Maize Career Academy; certificate area: science/adolescence and young adulthood

Olathe, USD 233 –

  • Phillip Holmes, band teacher at Pioneer Trail Middle School; certificate area: music/early adolescence through young adulthood
  • Dennis O’Connell, industrial arts teacher at Pioneer Trail Middle School; certificate area: career and technical education/early adolescence through young adulthood
  • Leigh Anne Rogers, first grade teacher at Forest View Elementary School; certificate area: literacy: reading-language arts/early and middle childhood
  • Christine Walker, Library Media Specialist at Arbor Creek Elementary School; certificate area: library media/early childhood through young adulthood

Seaman, USD 345 –

  • Stacy Colhouer, third grade teacher at Elmont Elementary School; certificate area: literacy: reading-language arts/early and middle childhood
  • Gena Mathes, fourth grade teacher at Elmont Elementary School; certificate area: literacy: reading-language arts/early and middle childhood

Shawnee Mission, USD 512 – Melissa Van Zant, Language Arts Teacher at Trailridge Middle School; certificate area: english language arts/early adolescence 

Wamego, USD 320 – Tammy Biswell, family and consumer sciences teacher at Wamego High School; certificate area: career and technical education/early adolescence through young adulthood

Wichita, USD 259 – Donna Cook-Lujano, teacher of the gifted at Heights High School; certificate area: mathematics/early adolescence

F. Todd Goodson, professor and chair of curriculum and instruction in Kansas State University’s College of Education; his certificate is inEnglish language arts/early adolescence.

Kansas currently has a total of 432 national board certified teachers. To date, more than 118,000 teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have achieved National Board Certification. At this time, educators who worked during the 2017-18 school year for their first national board certificate will find out if their work measured up to achieving National Board Certified Teacher status.                   

More information about Emporia State’s national board program can be found at

Is your teacher board certified?

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

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

NBCTs represent less than one percent of all educators in Kansas. The voluntary process is the equivalent of national board certification for physicians and other health professions.

There are 450 teachers in Kansas who are NBCTs.

To see a list of NBCTs, go to


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