20 More Teachers Earn National Certification

Twenty more teachers in the Long Beach Unified School District have earned the highest professional distinction in teaching, National Board Certification. The newest certifications bring the total number of nationally certified teachers in the school district to 96. The rigorous certification is an exhaustive year-long process that involves writing extensive portfolios, videotaping classroom instruction and answering four 90-minute essay questions during a June exam. Fewer than 1 percent of the nation’s 3 million teachers, or about 16,000, earn the certification each year. New National Board Certified teachers include Shawn Abbate, Poly; Jennifer Arsenault, Addams; Devon Day, Wilson; Patricia Ferris, Alvarado; Diana Figueroa, Garfield; Tara Foster-Escobar, Roosevelt; Judy Haenn, Poly; Ronda Hoops, Hill; Outey Khuon, Whittier; Ashley Lindstrom, Garfield; Samantha McCarthy, Stanford; Anne McCroskey, Millikan; Mark Oberjuerge, Jordan; Pamela Oehlman, Robinson; Jessica Parker, Garfield; Sandy Patton, Lakewood; James Petri, Longfellow; Mary Ruffner, Poly; Lisa Ulmer, Jordan; and Kam Weller, Lakewood. The school district has made a commitment to support teachers who are interested in applying for National Board Certification. Teachers who are accepted and successfully complete the pre-candidacy program are eligible for district payment of National Board application fees, a $2,300 savings. Teachers who obtain National Board Certification receive 5 percent salary increases and, should they choose to serve as mentor teachers, receive additional 5 percent salary increases. California also rewards its nationally certified instructors with $20,000 over four years if they teach at high-need schools. A national credential is not required like a state credential, but to be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an extremely high distinction. The National Board is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental agency created to establish rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. It is a voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet high standards, and it advances education reforms to improve student learning. The board was created in 1987 by a team of teachers, policymakers, academics and corporate leaders.