CMS Media Specialist achieves professional standards to boost le - | WBTV Charlotte

CMS Media Specialist achieves professional standards to boost learning


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?"

For Washburn, 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 education professional.

For more information about National Board Certified Teachers, go to


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