CONTACT:  Susan Samarge-Powell             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 341                                                28 FEB 2008



SMMUSD Recognizes National Board Certified Teachers


At its February 21st meeting, the Board of Education recognized the accomplishments of the district’s seven newly certified National Board teachers.


The teachers who have earned this certification are Anne Keller from Malibu High School, who has been teaching for thirty-six years; Judith Anderson at Lincoln Middle School; Martha Diaz Chacon from Santa Monica High School, who has been teaching for nine years; Margo Dunn from Point Dume Marine Science School, who has been teaching for nineteen years; Katie Jaroch from Lincoln Middle School, who has been teaching for eight years; Laila Taslimi from McKinley Elementary School, who has been teaching for ten years; and Geoff Tipper from Santa Monica High School, who has been teaching for eight years.


Though support for this process varies nationally, SMMUSD offers support to its candidates by reimbursing them for all application fees, providing one-on-one support from current NBCTs, providing sub days while working on the process, and a monetary reimbursement for supplies when they complete the process. When they achieve certification, the district offers a stipend for the ten years teachers are certified in return for service hours in the area of Professional Development for colleagues.


Currently, the district has fifty National Board Certified Teachers, six of whom are now administrators. 


Dr. Samarge-Powell, Coordinator of Teacher Support in SMMUSD’s Educational Services Department, introduced the newly certified teachers at the board meeting, and explained the history and process of National Board Certification.


The National Boards for the Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, non-profit, nonpartisan and non-governmental organization governed by a board of directors, with the majority of its members being classroom teachers.


The NBPTS was created in 1987 in response to the 1983 President’s Commission on Excellence in Education report. The report, in addition to the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy’s Task force on Teaching as a profession report led to the development of the National Boards.


National Board Certification is a symbol of professional teaching excellence. It was created so that teachers, like professionals in other fields, can achieve distinction by demonstrating through a demanding performance assessment that they meet high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.


Teachers must demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a series of performance-based assessments that include student work samples, videotapes and rigorous analysis of their classroom teaching and student learning. Written exercises probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.


Teachers who have earned this certification say that they are strengthened in their practice and the beneficiaries of their improvement are the students in their classrooms.


Currently, SMMUSD has candidates from across the district pursuing National Board Certification. The teachers range from elementary to high school and their years of teaching experience vary. They will complete their process this June and will find out of they have certified from the National Boards in December.


In California, 250 teachers achieved certification this year, for a total of 3,878, which helped make California fourth in the nation in the overall total of National Board Certified Teachers.


“As exciting as that sounds,” Sarmage-Powell concluded during her presentation to the board on February 21st, “only about 1% of California’s teachers are Nationally Board Certified; whereas in our district, we have just over 8% of our 624 teachers who are certified. We are small, but mighty!”





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