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Alexander Graham Middle School media specialist Kevin Washburn
recently earned his National Board Certification, despite many questions from
naysayers asking, "Why do we still need school libraries?"
that is a question he can easily answer. "Media specialists help students
become effective learners. If we want students to sustain their reading skills,
we need to help them migrate from one piece of information to another."
Washburn is one of 57 new National Board Certified Teachers in CMS
this year. Seventy CMS teachers will renew their certification, which is valid
for 10 years.
The certification is considered the "gold standard" for
teaching excellence and the district boasts 1,895 of its teachers having
achieved this professional certification.
CMS is ranked fourth nationally for
the most certified teachers.
The Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison and the
Teacher Professional Development Department will honor these teachers in a
ceremony on Jan. 17, from 5:15-6:45 p.m. at the Professional Development
Center, 428 West Blvd.
According to the National Board, the professional teaching
standards were formed in 1987 as the profession's platform for setting
standards for accomplished practice. …The National Board Certification is the
profession's representation of what it means for teachers to demonstrate
advanced knowledge, skills and practice.
For Washburn, the process was strenuous and took three years to
complete. He aimed to perfect each submitted entry and become a stronger
teaching professional during the process.
"The National Board Certification process gave me different
strategies on how to engage students in learning. It forces you to ask
questions of yourself like, ‘How can I be a better collaborator? What am I
teaching? How can I improve?'" said Washburn. "With my National Board
Certification I know how to best prepare students to be academically ready for
high school challenges. They will leave Alexander Graham prepared."
NBCT distinction is achieved by performance-based assessment and
testing that takes one to three years to complete. This voluntary assessment
program is designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and
to embed ongoing school improvement in that nation's schools. NBCT must
demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices within their
given discipline. By completing the certification process, it signifies that
teachers have developed and demonstrated the skills required of an accomplished
For more information about National Board Certified Teachers, go