Twenty-seven Clay County teachers received National Board Certification in 2007, after completing a rigorous, performance-based assessment.
National Board Certification is a voluntary one- to three-year program designed to recognize excellence in teaching. While state licensing systems set basic requirements, the National Board Certification process requires teachers to demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices, the Clay school district said in a prepared statement.
To become board certified, 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 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 agree to serve as mentors for other teachers going through the process get another bonus.
Here are Clay County's newest board-certified educators:
Dana Alston, Ridgeview High, math
Howard Altman, Fleming Island High, math
Abbie Andrews, Clay Hill Elementary, first grade
Eileen Biegel, Paterson Elementary, fifth grade
Yvonne Bowlin. …