13 educators earn National Board certification

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By Jesef Williams

Long nights, tied-up weekends and time away from family are just some of the sacrifices educators make when working to earn the highest credential in the teaching profession.

Pat McFadden will tell you it's no easy task.

McFadden, a guidance counselor at Erwin Elementary School, and 13 others educators in the Lancaster County School District recently earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The board develops the professional standards that define what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

Educators hoping to earn board certification had to complete an application process that included preparing several 20-page portfolios, taking six discussion-format tests and preparing a video of themselves teaching a class. Candidates have three years to complete the process once they begin.

McFadden earned her certification in a year.

"It feels great," said McFadden, now the first National Board certified guidance counselor in the school district. "It means I accomplished something I set out to do."

McFadden said she spent most weekends working on it for a year.

"You have to be able to organize your time at home and work," she said.

Because of the certification process, McFadden said she's now more conscious of her tactics as an educator.

"I am more aware of individual children's academic problems, as well as their social and personal problems," McFadden said.

Gwen Hinson-Minor, principal at Brooklyn Springs Elementary School, said it's a plus to have teachers at your school complete the board process.

Two teachers there - Jennifer Fleming and Kathy Snipes – just earned the certification, which brings the school's total to seven.

"I think it's a good process for the teachers to go through because it keeps them connected to innovative teaching methods," she said. "You can see them with a sense of motivation - trying new and different things. There's more student engagement."

The district now has 73 teachers certified by the National Board.

The 13 teachers are among more than 600 in the state and nearly 6,000 across the nation who just received the certification.

Board certified educators

Following are the district educators who recently received National Board certification:

- Tessa Cox, North Elementary

- Jennifer Fleming, Brooklyn Springs Elementary

- Gwen Hendry, Indian Land Elementary

- Melanie Hollis, North Elementary

- Jennifer Hudson, McDonald Green Elementary

- Catherine Lansburg, Indian Land Elementary

- Pat McFadden, Erwin Elementary

- Amy Montgomery, North Elementary

- Ray Patenaude, Indian Land High

- Kathy Snipes, Brooklyn Springs Elementary

- Paula Stegall, A.R. Rucker Middle

- Ginger Warren, Erwin Elementary

- Sheila Washington, Indian Land High

Contact Jesef Williams at 283-1152 or jwilliams@thelancasternews.com