Contact: Susan Samarge

310-450-8338, ext. 341

For Immediate Release

December 2, 2003

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Teachers

Achieve National Board Certification®

23 Teachers Earn Profession's Top Honor

When John Deasy came to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District as superintendent in the summer of 2001, one of his initial objectives was to actualize the full potential of all faculty. To this end, we are proud to inform the community that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District now confirms that twenty-three elementary and secondary school teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2003, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The percentage of teachers passing certification on their first attempt was 66% -- nearly double the national rate. The following teachers have been successful at completing the rigorous National Board certification process: Amy Beeman-Solano (Santa Monica High School - Samohi), Michael Burnett (Samohi), Heather Calahan (Samohi), Martha Durán-Contreras (formerly Will Rogers Elementary, currently principal at John Muir Elementary), Julie Erb (Malibu High School), Judy Franklin (McKinley Elementary School), Gretchen Gies (Lincoln Middle School), Deborah Granof (Webster Elementary School), Heather Hoekman (Malibu High School), Lorraine Horn (Samohi), Christi Hovest (Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School), Tristen Jones (Will Rogers Elementary School), Katy Lanza (Malibu High School), Bridgette Leonard (Malibu High School), Monica Mora (Malibu High School), Eric Paul (Roosevelt Elementary School), Steve Reifman (Roosevelt Elementary School), Bryan Sanders (Samohi), Susan Stivers (Lincoln Middle School), Susan Suomu (McKinley Elementary School), Amy Teplin (formerly Will Rogers, currently District Literacy Coach), Michelle Welford (Samohi), and Amelia Zimmermann-Wolff (Malibu High School).

"NBPTS celebrates and congratulates all teachers who went through the rigorous National Board Certification process," says NBPTS Board Chair Roy E. Barnes. "This impressive achievement is widely recognized at the national, state and local levels as a benchmark for teacher quality. This is also an indication that policymakers, educators, business and community leaders, and parents recognize that when it comes to a quality education, quality teaching matters."

National Board Certification is the highest credential in the teaching profession. A voluntary process established by NBPTS, certification is achieved through a rigorous performance-based assessment that takes between one and three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

National Board Certified Teachers distinguish themselves in the field of education by their dedication to their profession and their demonstrated abilities in the classroom.

This is a process that forces teachers to demonstrate how their activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, improve student achievement.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-governmental organization the majority of whom are classroom teachers. Its mission is to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. For more information about NBPTS, please visit



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