Teaching Excellence Rewarded with Top Distinction

Moorestown, N.J., Jan. 27, 2014 – The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) today announced that six of its Fellows achieved National Board Certification in the 2012–2013 assessment cycle. Governed by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential held by slightly more than 3% of teachers in the United States.

National Board Certified teachers meet the standards outlined by NBPTS for excellence in teaching. Similar to board certification in the field of medicine, National Board Certification involves a stringent, performance-based, peer review process. To earn this certification, candidates must submit a portfolio of classroom practice, including samples of student work and video-recorded instruction, and successfully complete an assessment of content knowledge. Planning, executing and organizing the required submission materials can consume hundreds of hours beyond a teacher’s normal scope of work, necessitating a high level of dedication.

“National Board Certification signifies excellence and professionalism in individual teachers and strengthens the teaching profession as a whole,” stated Nicole Gillespie, Executive Director, KSTF. “We encourage Fellows to strive for Board Certification on their way to becoming leaders within the teaching profession, and will continue to support those who have achieved this distinction as they take on those roles.”

KSTF’s five-year Teaching Fellowship Program was established to develop a stable, sustainable corps of teacher leaders. In addition to offering extensive opportunities for professional development, KSTF offers a range of other benefits, including financial support for Fellows interested in pursuing National Board Certification. Moreover, KSTF Fellows who are pursuing certification are invited to participate in a year-long support group run by a Board Certified Fellow who has completed the Candidate Support Provider (CSP) Training Program offered by NBPTS.

“After reflecting on the work done during my time as a KSTF Fellow, applying for National Board Certification seemed like the next logical step in my career as a professional teacher,” commented Heather Buskirk, who founded the National Board Certification support group at KSTF and mentored the 2012-2013 applicants. “I’m thankful for the support provided by KSTF and am grateful to have been given the opportunity to pay it forward, by assisting other Fellows as they embark on this challenging yet rewarding journey.”

The following KSTF Fellows achieved National Board Certification:

Across the nation, there are more than 106,000 National Board Certified teachers, working in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia. A total of 18 KSTF Fellows have achieved National Board Certification since 2008.