Holmes Teacher Makes History
Cutrer, Corrie, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Corrie Cutrer Daily Herald Staff Writer
Holmes Middle School teacher Karen Daly Klein has become the first educator in Wheeling Township Elementary School District 21 to receive National Board Certification from the Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
It is the highest level of certification that a teacher can obtain. Of Illinois' 146, 964 teachers, only 352 hold the distinction.
While finishing her last year of graduate school at Illinois State University, Klein, 29, decided to begin the rigorous, yearlong application process that teachers undergo to be considered for certification.
ISU offers graduate students the option of pursuing national certification during their last year instead of taking comprehensive exams or writing a thesis.
Klein first applied for a $2,300 grant from the Illinois State Board of Education to cover application costs. The ISBE awarded her the grant, and she then began compiling a required portfolio that included written analysis of her teaching methods, written samples of her students' work and videos of her teaching and interacting with students.
"You have to be able to explain how what you do impacts kids and their learning and how you can make it better," Klein said.
As the culmination of the process, Klein was tested for six hours on her knowledge of subject content and professional teaching skills. Teachers usually spend between 300 and 500 total hours on their application and testing, she said. …