Four Owensboro Public Schools teachers recently completed their certification to become a National Board Certified Teacher. Lauren Magill, Katy Harrison, Jamie Self, and Jennifer Ruth — all elementary school teachers — completed their certification.
“National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It’s the highest certification a teacher may obtain in addition to being the most respected one,” according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website.
The board sponsors a national certification process that measures a teacher’s practices against high standards of excellence. This involves an extensive series of performance-based assessments that includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and a thorough analysis of the candidates’ classroom teaching and student learning.
Lauren Magill, Teacher at Newton Parrish Elementary
Magill has been teaching for 9 years and received her certification in Literacy: Reading/Language Arts Early and Middle Childhood.
“I wanted to reflect on my teaching practices in reading and analyze the effectiveness of the programs and strategies I was using in my classroom,” she said. “I love learning and this opportunity allowed me to collaborate with others in our district. The process was trying — considering we were doing the work through COVID — but it was an experience that taught me so much about myself as an educator and how I can better reach my students. You have to be very self-driven to complete your national boards, and it put me in the role of a student again, which is always an eye-opening experience.”
Katy Harrison, Assistant Principal at Estes Elementary
Harrison has been teaching for Owensboro Public Schools for 20 years and became a National Board Certified teacher in 2010 with an emphasis in Adolescent English Language Arts.
“Having a reminder of the Standards and working to keep the Five Core Propositions at the front of my mind benefitting my students was one reason I chose National Board certification,” she said. “This year I renewed for an additional 10 years.”
Jamie Self, Curriculum Facilitator at Sutton Elementary
Self is in her 22nd year in education — including five in special education, five in the classroom, and 12 as a curriculum facilitator — and received her certification in Literacy: Reading/Language Arts Early and Middle Childhood.
“National Board is a certification I wanted to pursue earlier on in my career, but sometimes life throws us curve balls,” she said. “God opened a door for me to further my education and pursue my dream of becoming NBCT. This accomplishment has helped me focus on my strengths as well as areas of improvement, and grow as an educator so I can better serve students and teachers at Sutton.”
Jennifer Ruth, Special Education teacher at Estes Elementary
Ruth has been teaching for 9 years — including 6 in the general education setting before and the last 3 in special education for — received her certification in Early and Middle Literacy.
“I saw the need to reflect on my practices so that I could provide the most effective instruction for my students,” she said. “I am so appreciative of OPS and their continued encouragement and support throughout this process.”