Eleven District 211 Teachers Earn National Board Certification Credentials

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The newest National Board Certified teachers. (From left to right) Bottom Row: Angela Drenth, Gina Hubbard, Brian Drenth, Kimberly Selleck, Eric Hauser. Top Row: Christopher Grattoni, Jordan Catapano, Tanya Katovich, Brian Curtin, Derek Schmidt, and Tracy Serafini.

The newest National Board Certified teachers. (From left to right) Bottom Row: Angela Drenth, Gina Hubbard, Brian Drenth, Kimberly Selleck, Eric Hauser. Top Row: Christopher Grattoni, Jordan Catapano, Tanya Katovich, Brian Curtin, Derek Schmidt, and Tracy Serafini.

Professional development of teachers is a vital source of academic innovation in the classroom. Throughout the years, many District 211 teachers have successfully completed the highest professional certification credentials in the teaching field.

This academic year, 11 teachers have earned National Board Certification credentials from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This prestigious certification is completed over the course of a year, and candidates must successfully navigate various assessments to earn their credentials. District 211 now has 132 National Board Certified teachers, fourth among Illinois school districts and tops among high school districts in the state.

“This is the highest point you can reach in your career,” said Marci Albrecht, National Board Certified English teacher at Palatine High School and mentor of the National Board Certification District cohort. “It’s a great challenge and it changes your outlook in the classroom.”

In order to be eligible for the certification process, teachers need to have taught for three years. However, District 211 prefers candidates to have tenure, which is five years. There are 25 different National Board Certification credentials a teacher can earn to complement their license. As part of the certification process, candidates complete 10 assessments that are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas. The assessments include four written portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and six constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge.

Each portfolio showcases classroom- and professional-based accomplishments. The focus is on student learning through three examples inside the classroom displayed through essays, videos, and student work, and one from accomplishments outside of the classroom with families, the community, or colleagues. Teachers also must demonstrate content knowledge in response to six, 30-minute exercises developed for their content area.

Once everything is completed, a minimum of 12 NBPTS teachers who are qualified to review applications score a candidate’s portfolio. Each candidate’s portfolio must have evidence of accomplished teaching or school counseling practices that are based on the NBPTS standards, and score a 275 or better. The certificate is good for 10 years before teachers need to renew their certification.

“The certification truly does reflect the highest honor that a teacher can accomplish, and it’s not something that can be faked through,” Albrecht said. “The rigor, self-reflection, and working with stringent, but well-written national standards force these teachers to look at what is working and what isn’t, and how to improve because it all comes back to the students.”

In recognition of their efforts, these teachers were acknowledged at the Jan. 17 Board of Education meeting. District 211’s newest National Board Certified teachers include:

Jordan Catapano, James B. Conant High School
Brian Curtin, Schaumburg High School
Angela Drenth, James B. Conant High School
Brian Drenth, James B. Conant High School
Christopher Grattoni, William Fremd High School
Erik Hauser, James B. Conant High School
Gina Hubbard, Palatine High School
Tanya Katovich, Hoffman Estates High School
Derek Schmidt, District 211 Academy-South
Kimberly Selleck, Schaumburg High School
Tracy Serafini, Schaumburg High School