Kentucky impresses with 316 new National Board Certified teachers

Published 11:55 am Thursday, February 22, 2018


The Advocate-Messenger

Kentucky teachers are making the news a lot right now because of the pension-funding crisis. If you see the word “teacher” in a news story, there’s a good chance you’re going to be reading about politicians posturing and advocacy groups pushing one agenda or another.

Email newsletter signup

Hopefully not lost in all of Frankfort’s hullabaloo is some news about what teachers actually do — they teach. And in Kentucky, they teach well.

On Tuesday, Kentucky celebrated having 316 of its teachers become National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). The 316 Kentucky teachers who earned their certifications near the end of December represent the second-largest class of NBCTs ever in the state, and the fifth-largest class in the nation, according to information from the Education Cabinet. It’s also worth noting Kentucky has the seventh-highest percentage of NBCTs in the nation: 8.6 percent of our teachers are National Board Certified, a little more than one in 12.

Both Danville and Boyle County school districts added new NBCTs in this newest class.

Danville now has 12 NBCTs, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ nationwide directory. Three of those are newly certified: Helen Blevins, Derek Otto and Kristi Sigola. Having 12 NBCTs means about 9.4 percent of Danville’s teachers are certified, based on the district’s 2016-17 number of teachers.

Boyle County now has 19 NBCTs, including six who are newly certified: Grace-Nicole Burke, Kerrie Goggin, Kendra Goodpaster, Leona Lay, Jennifer Maddox and Andrea New. That means about 10.2 percent of Boyle’s teachers are certified.

Statewide, Kentucky has more than 700 NBCTs.

Peggy Brookins, an NBCT and the president and CEO of the National Board, said, “I could not be more proud of Kentucky’s 316 new National Board Certified Teachers. This is an accomplishment for the teachers but I can’t overstate the impact it will have on students. NBCTs have an oversized impact on student learning and these teachers, 70 percent of whom teach in high-needs Title I schools, are working with students who need them most. Every student deserves a teacher whose practice meets the highest standards in the field. Great work, Kentucky!”

We’d like to add: Great work, Boyle County and Danville!

Becoming certified requires nearly 400 hours of work and it’s all voluntary, not mandated.

As the National Board points out on its website, more than a decade of research has shown that “students taught by (NBCTs) learn more than students taught by other teachers. Estimates of the increase in learning are on the order of an additional one to two months of instruction, and the positive impact is even greater for high-need students.”

There is perhaps no cliche that is more cliche than the phrase “our kids are our future.” But being cliche doesn’t make it any less true. The better we educate our kids now, the better our future — and theirs — will be.

National Board Certified Teachers are literally making everyone’s future better by learning to better educate and enlighten our kids. We’re proud of Kentucky teachers for putting in the hours and pouring their hearts and souls into our children. Hopefully, our ranks of NBCTs will only continue to grow.