Stacci Barganz, gifted and talented coordinator in the School District of Fort Atkinson, has achieved National Board certification, and thereby joins more than 3,500 teachers achieving the certification this year and more than 125,000 total.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) welcomes 3,831 new National Board-certified teachers (NBCTs), who are helping students reach their highest potential in 2,914 schools in 46 states. Together, with 4,786 Board-certified teachers who successfully renewed their certification this year, these new NBCTs join a growing community of more than 125,000 Board-certified teachers across all 50 states.
“The National Board certification process has been a fantastic way for me to reflect on what I do as a teacher and on how I can become even better in my professional practice,” Barganz commented. “It’s made me evaluate what works well and what I can change, and it helps me see what effect I have on students.
“To be honest, I was delighted and surprised that I earned my certification in the first year, as national pass rates are low,” she added. “However, I had a great mentor (National Board-certified teacher Martha MacWilliams) who gave me valuable feedback, and that made all the difference in the world.
“I’m honored to be a part of this national group of dedicated teachers,” Barganz stated. “And I’m really glad the process is over — that was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done professionally, but also one of the most rewarding!”
Peggy Brookins, NBCT, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, stated, “These new National Board-certified teachers will continue to change the way their students learn, and their proven ability to be the best teachers they can be will have a ripple effect on their schools and their communities for years to come.
“I’m especially proud to see that large numbers of new NBCTs are teaching in schools where they are needed most,” she added.
Meanwhile, Martha MacWilliams, Luther Elementary School third grade teacher and National Board-certified teacher, remarked that “Stacci has masterfully applied the National Board standards in all components to show her level of expertise in her role as our district’s Gifted and Talented coordinator.
“The many ways that Stacci is able to meet the needs of her students is more than impressive,” she added. “Her reflective and professional practice shows not only in the achievement of this extremely difficult accomplishment, but in her daily work with her students, teachers and parents.
“She is most deserving of this exceptional level of teaching certification,” MacWilliams concluded, “and we are so lucky to have an educator like her in our school district!”
In order to become a Board-certified teacher, teachers complete a performance-based, peer-reviewed process, demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement. In addition to the new NBCTs, more than 24,000 teachers currently are pursuing Board certification. An increasing number of states and districts support growing the number of Board-certified teachers because of the impact they see on teachers and students.
Highlights from this year’s class of new Board-certified teachers are as follows:
• Widening reach:
• There are new NBCTs in 2,914 schools in 1,090 districts across 46 states.
• Growing concentrations in schools, districts and states:
• 11 states have more than 100 new NBCTs.
• 35 states have more than 10 new NBCTs.
• 122 schools have five or more new NBCTs.
• Increasing equity, reaching a broader range of students:
— 55 percent of new NBCTs teach in high-need (Title I) schools.
— 18 of the new NBCTs teach in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-affiliated schools, an increase of 37 percent since 2014, and have hundreds of teachers working toward certification.
— 569 new NBCTs are teachers of color.
• 42 percent of new NBCTs teach in STEM fields.
“National Board certification is about elevating the teaching profession, and it is about helping children achieve at higher rates,” said Brookins. “The certification process impacts teaching and learning well beyond an individual teacher’s classroom.”
The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by: (1) maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; (2) providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards; and (3) advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board-certified teachers.
Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.