HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (March 16, 2021) – 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 spring, Henderson County Public Schools celebrates 11 educators who have earned the credential from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and joined their esteemed peers in the district.
Cody Merriman, Lucia Bertini, Matthew Witt, Courtney Sanders, Kaycee Beyer, Nicole Gorry, Steve Sigmon, Ryan Drake, Rachel Miller, Benjamin Morris, and Allyson Warren are 11 of the 467 teachers in North Carolina to have earned their certifications in the 2020-2021 school year.
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.
“These educators were weekend warriors throughout this rigorous process, which we know was particularly difficult this school year,” said Dr. Wendy Frye, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services. “We celebrate these teachers for achieving exemplary status while faced with the unforeseen challenges of a pandemic.”
With 23,090 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 23.04% of educators in the state having earned the credential, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Currently in HCPS, 184 teachers are National Board Certified.
“As we honor these teachers, we also want to thank the Board of Public Education for continuing to support our teachers who seek National Board Certification with professional development and mentoring,” said Frye, describing the local Saturday sessions the district offers, partnering with the same facilitator used regionally.
Joining their ranks this year are the following educators:
North Henderson High’s band director Steve Sigmon has dedicated his 13-year teaching career to the Knights, and school counselor Rachel Miller is brand new to HCPS this year, having joined North in January 2021 from Wake County Schools.
Benjamin Morris began teaching science and math in 2017 at Henderson County Early College, where social studies teacher Matthew Witt has spent all 6 years of his teaching career. Social studies teacher Ryan Drake has been teaching at Hendersonville High since 2017.
Cody Merriman started his teaching career with HCPS in 2015 at Hillandale Elementary, where he continues to teach 5th grade. Lucia Bertini, who teaches 3rd grade, has served all 4 years of her teaching career at Bruce Drysdale Elementary, and Flat Rock Middle school counselor Courtney Sanders has been mentoring HCPS students since 2016.
Allyson Warren has spent her entire teaching career at West Henderson High teaching physical education. Her peer Kaycee Beyer, began teaching physical education at West in 2109 and is assistant coach for the women’s basketball team. Also from West, math teacher Nicole Gorry is in her 5th year of teaching.