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BCS Remains a Leader in Teacher Qualifications
BCS Remains a Leader in Teacher Qualifications
Posted on 01/10/2020
In 2019, Buncombe County Schools teachers ranked 18th in the U.S. in National Board certification.(Pictured Above: Ms. Morgan Denton, NBCT and English Teacher, North Buncombe High School.)

By: Benjamin Rickert, BCS Communications


North Buncombe High's Ms. Morgan Denton, NBCT, assists  a student during class.Buncombe County teachers are among the most motivated in the country to give and be their very best.

According to new data from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), Buncombe County Schools (BCS) entered 2020 as a national and state leader in teacher qualifications, ranking 18th in the country for the number of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). In September, the NBPTS named BCS a National Board Accomplished District, as more than 20% of teachers held the advanced teaching credential.

"Because the main focus of the certification process is to advance student learning, it is our students who benefit the most from having a NBCT in their classroom," said BCS National Board Support Coordinator Laura Mayer. "Every child deserves an accomplished teacher."

According to the NBPTS, "National Board Certification is a voluntary advanced professional certification for PreK-12 educators that identifies teaching expertise through a performance-based, peer-reviewed assessment."

North Carolina continues to lead the United States in the total number of NBCTs, and reached 22,653 by the end of 2019. According to a North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction press release, the state accounts for nearly one-fifth of all U.S. teachers certified by the teaching standards organization.

On the Value of National Board Certification
BCS Communications spoke with Laura Mayer, BCS National Board Support Coordinator, on the value of pursuing the National Board Certified Teacher designation. Mayer serves as an instructional coach at A.C. Reynolds and T.C. Roberson High Schools. She first became a NBCT in 2000, renewing in 2010 and 2020.

Q: Why is National Board Certification important?

A: Because the main focus of the certification process is to advance student learning, it is our students who benefit the most from having a NBCT in their classroom. Teachers who become National Board Certified have proven to care deeply about their students, to know their content and how to teach it, to be reflective practitioners of their trade, and to seek partnerships with colleagues and the community in order to benefit their students.

For teachers, the National Board process is hands-down the best professional learning opportunity available because it is incredibly personalized and focused on students. Teachers who attempt the process are in a constant state of goal-setting, evidence-gathering, reflection, and revision. This evidence-based cycle ensures that every candidate grows professionally.

Perhaps most importantly, National Board Certification is about equity. Every child deserves an accomplished teacher. Every student needs a teacher who appreciates diversity and facilitates an inclusive environment where kids feel safe to take risks, to be heard, to learn and to grow. National Board candidates must provide evidence and meet standards that prove they have established such an environment in their classroom.

For me personally, National Board Certification aligns to a core belief. Teaching is an art- we all know inspiring teachers who seem “called” to the profession. But I’ve always seen teaching as a craft, as well. Not all great teachers are born- many are grown. And that is what National Board certification does- it grows accomplished teachers who grow inspired students.

Q: What does this recent data say about BCS teachers?

A: Year after year, our district remains in the top 20 nationwide for number of NBCTs. We have a cadre of educators who value continued growth for both teachers and their students. As an instructional coach, I know that the very best teachers are those who constantly seek new knowledge, set new goals, and share their expertise with their students and their colleagues. They are leaders in their classrooms, in their schools and in their district. For Buncombe County Schools, National Board certification is contagious! One of the most gratifying results of our large numbers is that BCS NBCTs are encouraging their colleagues to achieve certification, and they are supporting them on the journey. Our teachers are seeing board certification as an expected part of their career continuum. National Board is the goal. Our students deserve it.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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