The Franklin Special School District is proud to announce that four teachers have achieved Certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. This brings the number of FSSD teachers who hold a national board certification to 26. The four newly board certified teachers – Poplar Grove Elementary School music teacher Kaylon Gilley, Poplar Grove Middle School English language learner teacher Lindsee Bernet, Johnson Elementary School reading coach Kim Daugherty, and Johnson Elementary School physical education teacher Bethany Masingale – were recognized by the Board of Education and "pinned" at the February 13, 2023, School Board meeting by fellow National Board Certified teachers.
National certification is a rigorous process beyond licensure that ensures teachers demonstrate a deep understanding of their students, content knowledge, use of data and assessments and teaching practice. They must also show that they participate in learning communities and provide evidence of ongoing reflection and continuous learning. It is a symbol of teaching excellence. Although voluntary, it is achieved through a performance-based assessment that takes a year to complete.
Because the FSSD understands the positive impact a teacher with national board certification can have in the classroom, the district pays a significant portion of the submission fee. The FSSD Board of Education holds national certification in such high regard that it reimburses the candidate almost two-thirds of the total cost of this arduous process. In addition, the FSSD rewards a successfully certified teacher with a $4,000 annual supplement for the 5-year period of certification, which may be extended if the teacher completes a challenging renewal process. In return, the students reap the benefits of a stronger, more reflective teacher focused on student engagement.
Another support provided to FSSD teachers who choose to participate in the rigorous process of national certification is local support, headed by Human Resources Supervisor Leslie Duke and Associate Director for Teaching and Learning Mary Decker, Ed.D. These administrators support candidates who wish to be guided along the evaluation process with professional learning opportunities and additional resources. Candidates also receive one-to-one mentoring guidance from their peers in the district who are already certified. “Supporting educators in the pursuit of this gold standard of National Board Certification is one of the many privileges we have in the district,” Decker said. “We are fortunate in this district to have educators who are eager to reflect deeply on their practices and work to further hone their craft.”
The FSSD rewards its teachers for pursuing and achieving this certification because the district’s vision of “Excellence in Teaching and Learning for All” sets a standard that will place the best and most qualified teachers in the classrooms. “The district is proud to support our educators as they continue to grow in their craft. We know that our students are the benefactors when our teachers are encouraged to learn and grow,” Duke said. She noted that the teacher’s professional reflection and commitment to improving instructional practice can lift an entire grade level or subject area in a school as it tends to cause others to open their minds to professional reflection and growth as well.