Four teachers are recognized at the Pell City Board of Education meeting for receiving their National Board Certificate. (l-r) Leslie Hughes, Crystal Mitchell, Sunni Wyatt, and Andy Jackson. Photo by Danny Moore

Four elementary teachers from Pell City were recognized by the Pell City School Board of Education for receiving a National Board Certificate. Pell City School Superintendent Dr. Michael Barber said, “This kind of training puts emphasis on good teaching and strategy in the class room.”

Three of the four recipients, Sunni Wyatt, Leslie Hughes and Crystal Mitchell, are Accomplished Middle Childhood Generalists; while Andy Jackson finished his certification in Exceptional Needs.

The board was proud of the four, and said they would like more teachers to achieve the National Board Certificate.

The State of Alabama has offered an additional $5,000 per year toward educators who obtain the national board certificate. Plus, the National Board Certificate is considered “the most respected professional certificate available in K-12 education,” according to nbpts.org

It is not mandatory for a teacher to get their NBC in the state of Alabama. In fact, it is completely voluntary. Yet, research has proven “that students taught by board certified teachers learn more than students taught by other teachers,” it stated on Nbpts.org

The NBC can take as long as five years to complete, but it took two years for Wyatt, Hughes, Mitchell and Jackson to finish. They also went through the process together, giving them a chance to acquaint with one another by having a similar goal.

Out of three million teachers nationwide, only 3% of teachers in the country become nationally certified teachers.

All and all, it gives teachers an opportunity to gain more wisdom on top of what they already know. Half is a refresher course and the other half is how education is always changing, and how teachers should adjust to new learning strategies that can better accommodate their students.

Fourth grade teacher Andy Jackson has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, Special Education and Early Childhood Education. He also has a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in behavioral health, yet he still wanted to go above and beyond to become nationally certified as a teacher.

Even teachers never stop learning.

For more information on the National Board Certification program, visit www.nbpts.org

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