CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) recognized 104 educators Tuesday, March 10, as part of this year’s National Board Certification (NBC) Recognition Celebration at the West Virginia Culture Center. The honorees represent the 51 new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) as well as the 53 educators who successfully renewed their certification last year.

Mingo County teachers Theresa Hanshaw, Burch Pre-K-8; Sonya Picklesimer, Mingo Central Comprehensive School; and Amy Salmons, Tug Valley High School, all renewed their certifications.

National Board Certification is the gold-standard credential for educators in the United States. NBC symbolizes accomplished practice beyond licensure. The rigorous process, which can take three years to complete, includes four components: content knowledge; differentiation in instruction; teaching practice and learning environment; and effective/reflective practice.

“The West Virginia Department Education is committed to supporting National Board Certification because of the impact it has on teaching and learning,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Ten years of research shows that NBCTs are highly effective in the classroom, especially among minority and low-income populations. The teachers that we honor this year once again represent educators who are invested in their own professional growth for the benefit of our children.”

West Virginia’s support of the program has led to the state ranking 14th (previously 15th) in the nation for the percentage, and 18th (previously 24th) in the nation for the number of NBCTs (1,046). In addition to an annual $3,500 salary supplement provided by WVDE, most counties also support NBCTs with additional salary enhancements. WVDE provides mentors to assist those pursuing their certification, and it also reimburses the $1,900 in fees associated with the application process.

According to data from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, Board-certified teachers produce one-to-two months of additional learning because of their deep understanding of teaching strategies, individualized student-learning approaches and in-depth content knowledge.