Friday, February 3, 2012

WSD teachers Marcia Hershaw and Lucie Willeman earn National Board Certification

Washougal School District teachers Marcia Hershaw and Lucia Willeman earned National Board certification this year. Marcia Hershaw is a Health and Fitness teacher at Hathaway Elementary. Lucia Willeman teaches third grade at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary. Certification is a one- to three-year-long introspective process that requires teachers to submit a four-part portfolio and a six-exercise content and pedagogy assessment. The four entries document a teacher’s success in the classroom as evidenced by his or her students’ learning. A national panel of peers then assesses the portfolio. “It was a highly reflective and analytical process that really helped me focus on the effect my instruction had on each child,” said Marcia Hershaw. “I assess student performance more frequently as a result, and shape future lessons to address areas that need to be strengthened.”

“Going through the National Board certification process was the most intense period of self-discovery and professional development that I have ever undergone,” said Lucie Willeman. “It was beneficial for not only myself, but my students as well as I have explored my own teaching practices and how they align with a set of stringent national teaching standards. This has helped refine my own classroom instruction and community building. Achieving the National Board Certification is definitely a life-time professional highlight.”

Considered the “gold standard” for teaching excellence, this year 6,200 teachers across the nation achieved this distinction. This brings the total number of board certified teachers in the U.S. to nearly 100,000.

A report by the National Research Council found that students who were taught by board certified teachers show higher gains on achievement tests than those taught by other teachers. National Board Certified Teachers must demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Completion of the certification process signifies that teachers have developed and demonstrated the skills required of an accomplished professional educator.

The two newly certificated teachers join several other Washougal School District teachers, including: Brian Amundson, Penny Andrews, Scott Rainey, Heather Santos, Chelsea Waldron, and Bryn Walker.