HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 14, 2020) – The most nationally respected professional certification available in K-12 education, National Board Certification is an optional intensive certification process with extremely high standards for teachers. This winter, Henderson County Public Schools are celebrating 12 educators who have earned the credential from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and joined their esteemed peers in the district.
Velita Cochran, Janet Covington, Zoe Faircloth, Tyler Honeycutt, Geoff Kinsey, Kara Lindsey, Jennifer Quinn, Nicole Riddle, Kelly Risley, Ashley Wellman, Dana Wells, and Mandi Willingham, are 12 of 710 teachers in North Carolina and 3,831nationwide to have earned their certifications in December 2019.
As a part of the certification process, candidates build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes, and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. The rigorous performance-based assessment typically takes one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.
The new National Board Certified Teachers were recognized Monday, Jan. 13, at the Henderson County Board of Public Education public meeting, where Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Jan King thanked the Board of Public Education for continuing to fund quality, local support and peer mentorship for HCPS teachers seeking National Board Certification.
In the past, HCPS teachers had to drive to Asheville for regional National Board support offered on weekends; grant funding in 2017 allowed the district to initiate a local cohort of candidates, and when the grant ended the Board of Education supported the idea of continuing to offer Saturday sessions within the district, partnering with the same facilitator used regionally.
“Not all districts do this,” King said, adding, “Our parking lot was full this past Saturday with a whole new batch of teachers working on their National Board certifications.”
With nearly 22,000 teachers in the state with the certification, North Carolina leads the nation in having the most teachers with the credential, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Nationally certified teachers also account for a larger percentage of the total teaching force in North Carolina than any other state, with more than one of every five having earned the credential, according to NCDPI. Currently in HCPS, 196 teachers are National Board Certified.
Joining their ranks this winter are the following educators:
From Rugby Middle, 6th grade math and science teacher Velita Cochran has taught at Rugby for 6 years; physical education teacher and volleyball coach Kelly Risley has spent 8 years of her 23-year education career at Rugby; and Exceptional Children teacher Ashley Wellman has spent her entire 8 years of teaching at Rugby.
Janet Covington, who teaches English as a Second Language, has served all 6 years of her teaching career at Sugarloaf Elementary, and 4th grade teacher Geoff Kinsey has spent all 10 years of his teaching career at Glenn C. Marlow Elementary.
From Henderson County Early College, math teacher Tyler Honeycutt is in his 10th year of teaching, having spent the last 2 at Early College, and Mandi Willingham has spent all 8 years of her school counseling career at Early College.
English teacher Zoe Faircloth is in her 5th year of her teaching career at North Henderson High, and orchestra teacher Jennie Quinn has spent the last 2 years of her 14-year career at East Henderson High and Flat Rock Middle.
Kara Lindsey has spent all 5 years of her career teaching 2nd grade at Hendersonville Elementary, and Nicole Riddle has taught 5th grade at Etowah Elementary for 6 of her 12 years in education. Third grade teacher Dana Wells has spent the last 2 of her 13 years in education at Fletcher Elementary.