Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, Clay County Line staff writer
After a yearlong self-evaluation process, 24 Clay County teachers have joined the elite ranks of educators who have earned national certification.
They join 79 other Clay teachers who, since 1998, already achieved the highest professional credential in the education field.
In the program, teachers apply to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a Michigan-based non-profit group, and go through extensive performance reviews. Among other things, they have to take written tests and submit portfolios that include lesson plans, student work samples and videotapes of their classes, and analyses of classroom teaching and student learning.
Certification lasts 10 years.
In 1998, the Legislature began paying the bulk of the National Board's registration fee and giving additional salary -- 10 percent of the average teaching salary in the state -- to teachers who completed the process. Teachers who become certified and then agree to serve as mentors for other teachers going through the process get another bonus.
Five of the newly certified teachers are from Ridgeview High. Principal Toni McCabe attributed the high number to what she called a "faculty that enjoys the pursuit of learning.
"I was very pleased with the number of nationally certified teachers teachers coming out of Ridgeview . . . I think there is definitely a collegial atmosphere among the teachers -- those who have received it in the past are helping and encouraging the others," McCabe said. …