NBCT Spotlight

Meet some of SDPs Nationally Board Certified Teachers and learn why they became interested in this prestigious professional opportunity!

Alisa Baldwin

“My passion for teaching and desire to serve students led me to pursue the National Board Certification. I am a learner at heart and therefore always in pursuit of professional development that would improve my practice. The National Board process provided me with valuable professional development that continues to enhance the decisions I make when teaching. This educational journey has provided me with the tools and direction to become a more effective and efficient practitioner in the development, engagement and delivery of my lessons for the students and the teaching staff. Now, when planning my lessons or assisting the staff, I say how and what is the best method to use for engaging and impacting the learning experience of our students.  Being a National Board Certified Teacher has opened doors and afforded me the opportunity to mentor candidates who are obtaining their certification, become an adjunct professor at a university, as well as a professional development leader for Health and Welfare.” – Alisa Baldwin

Elaine Blackmon

“I initially certified in 2007 and last year I successfully completed the renewal process.  Originally, I sought certification as a means to challenge myself and fine tune my teaching practice.  Even though I had been teaching for many years at the time, I wanted the opportunity to more closely analyze my  instructional choices. The National Board process, with its strong emphasis on reflection,  was the perfect vehicle to attain this goal. An added bonus to becoming a NBCT  is that I am able to be actively involved in supporting colleagues who are embarking on their certification journey.” – Elaine Blackmon

Jayne Downing

“An advocate of life-long learning for children, adults and myself, I made the decision to become National Board certified as the next step in bettering myself as a Teacher Librarian. I teach students library skills in grades k-8, and each one of them deserves the best me I can be. As I pursued certification, I reflected on my practice more deeply than I had before in my career. This is the biggest bonus of the journey – to learn to reflect and to use that reflection in your teaching. I was honored to be the first SDP Librarian to certify and since then, I have worked with other colleagues on their journey towards certification.” – Jayne Downing

Nicole Heyward

“I made the decision to embark on the journey to become Nationally Board Certified because I wanted to challenge myself to reflect on my teaching pedagogy.  The rigor and intensity of the process has changed the way I approach each lesson that I teach.  I can honestly say that becoming a Nationally Board Certified Teacher has enhanced my ability to provide a strong educational foundation in the formative years. This certification has given me the resources to continue to motivate and inspire my students to reach higher heights and deeper depths.” – Nicole Heyward

Benjamin Hover

“The National Board Certification process allows teachers the opportunity to reflect upon their practice and develop their professional craft to better serve their students. The NBCT process requires deliberative reflection on lesson planning and pedagogy which not only instilled in me a desire to maximize the engagement of the students in the classroom for individual lessons, but also reinforced in me the necessity of planning lessons that would be incorporated into a long term cohesive curriculum. By reflecting on my practice as a teacher, I developed the ability to self-critique so that I would be more successful for my students and analyze why some lessons were not as successful or why students seemed disengaged. Ultimately, our goals as teachers should be geared towards self-improvement for the benefit of our students and the National Board Certification process provided this framework for me to become a better teacher.” – Benjamin Hover

Kristin Johnson

“I decided to begin the journey to become a National Board Certified Teacher because of my commitment to the students I teach. I had always been passionate about the quality of education that all students received. I was clear that in order to provide effective teaching, it was imperative for me to be reflective about myself as teacher.  I was correct in believing that the challenge of the certification process provided me with an in depth study of my own practice. It not only helped me improve as a teacher, but helped solidify my commitment to the the teaching and learning process.” – Kristin Johnson

Matthew Mandel

Why did I become a National Board Certified Teacher?
by Matthew Mandel

Because I needed to know.
Because affirmation from students and close colleagues and administrators is nice…but also tainted by affection.
Because I needed that next mountain…that next challenge.
Because under the often intrusive microscope of school reform oversight, I wanted a credential that was unassailable.
Because I wasn’t sure I could.

Darlene Schaffer

“I made the decision to take the journey toward National Board Certification because after 9 years of teaching, I was ready to move forward in my career.   As the year unfolded, I was challenged to examine my teaching practice and reflect on how the instructional decisions I made impacted student learning over time. The process was by far the most rigorous, rewarding professional development opportunity I have ever participated in. After becoming certified in 2008, I have enjoyed supporting colleagues across the district as they have pursued certification. I believe so strongly in this amazing opportunity that I am currently working on renewing my certification.” – Darlene Schaffer

Ivey Welshans

“After working in the field of education for many years, I felt that I needed to challenge myself in a way that would improve my pedagogical practices.  I wanted to continue to learn and grow- not only for myself but for the students that I service every single day.  I decided that pursuing National Board Teacher Certification would allow me to personalize my learning in a deep and constructive manner where I would have the opportunity to reflect on my teaching practices and become the best teacher that I could be. I wanted to expand my influence in the educational setting and be recognized as being part of a group of distinguished educators.” – Ivey Welshans