A group of 71 teachers in the Wake County Public School System earned certifications from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in 2013.
According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, WCPSS currently has the most National Board Certified educators in the country, with 2,365 people. WCPSS has held the No. 1 position for the past several years.
Seeking National Board Certification is a rigorous professional program that helps teachers analyze and improve their teaching and their understanding of how students learn.
Although state-licensing systems set basic requirements for teachers, National Board Certified teachers demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills, and practices. Earning National Board Certification is a highly regarded achievement in the teaching profession.
“When I learned I had gotten my certification, it was a truly overwhelming feeling of accomplishment,” said Sharon Ruebesam, a newly certified teacher at Forestville Road Elementary School. Ruebesam teaches students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and often need extra support in reading and language.
“There is a level of trust parents need when they hand their child over to a teacher,” Ruebesam says. “I sought National Board Certification because I wanted to show my parents that I could provide the best education for their child and help that child work to their potential. I wanted to show that to my students, their parents, and myself.”
Earning her national certification has made Ruebesam a more confident teacher and leader for the Special Education department at her school, she says.
The national program requires teachers to take on leadership roles, collaborate with peers, and analyze their teaching practices and their impact on student learning.
“National Board Certified teachers are academic leaders,” said Millbrook High School Principal Dana King. “They represent the best of the profession. They are smart, creative, and hard working. They are advocates for students, and the work that they do can be felt throughout our community.”
Once a teacher completes the certification, he or she may be eligible for a 12-percent increase in pay from the state of North Carolina. Certifications must be renewed every 10 years. Another group of 109 teachers from WCPSS earned their 10-year renewals last month.
“These teachers have demonstrated a commitment to professional excellence and leadership. We are proud that they teach in Wake County,” Superintendent Jim Merrill said.
Merrill will honor all 180 teachers with new and renewed certifications at a reception on Thursday, January 9.