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Two ICSD Teachers Achieve National Board Certification

Two ICSD teachers recently achieved certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.

Patti Buhr, who teaches at South Hill Elementary School, and Jennifer Lory-Moran, a mathematics teacher at DeWitt Middle School, recently became the third and fourth ICSD teachers to achieve National Board certification. Statewide, just under 1 percent of teachers are National Board certified.

Candidates for National Board certification are required to meet and maintain a rigorous series of standards; demonstrate evidence of their classroom effectiveness; and exhibit a deep understanding of their students, content knowledge, use of data and assessments, and teaching practice. Teachers must also show that they participate in learning communities and provide evidence of ongoing reflection and continuous learning.

Buhr and Lory-Moran both said the National Board certification process has transformed their approaches to teaching.

“Everything I worked on was timely, relevant, powerful, and specific to my practice. My students felt the impact of my work immediately,” Buhr said. “A strong commitment to my students led to deep reflection, collaborative conversations, targeted teaching, and student gains. I am proud to be a National Board-certified teacher and to know that my students will benefit from this process for years to come.”

Lory-Moran said the process “forced me to reflect on every single element of my teaching practice – my use of differentiation and assessment, my classroom environment, how well I know my students and what I do with that knowledge, my content knowledge into grades far beyond what I teach.” That reflection, she said, has helped her to examine her practice and identify places where she can be more intentional and less instinctual in ways that lead to student growth and learning.

Lory-Moran said the pursuit of National Board certification will not only help her students grow, but has helped her to grow as an educator.

“It’s been over 20 years since I got my initial teaching certification, but my job title is exactly the same as it was when I started,” she said. “I wanted National Board certification so that I could say to myself and others, ‘Hey, I’m not the same teacher I was 20 years ago – I’ve grown a lot!’ But instead of just proving what kind of teacher I was, going through the whole reflective process actually helped me grow even more and gave me a good sense of which direction I want to go – and grow – next.”