January 11, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
At a banquet Tuesday night, several Henry County Schools officials said they hope that having 13 educators in the school system who have achieved National Board Certification will inspire others to do the same.
Dr. J. David Martin, acting schools superintendent, told the 13 recipients, “Your involvement ... is leading the way for other teachers to follow in your footsteps and realize it can be done. ... Your recent achievement has proven that not only do you expect the best from your students, but you expect the best from yourself.
“Achieving National Board Certification has been referred to as being similar to obtaining another degree.”
Dr. Joe DeVault, vice chairman of the Henry County School Board, said the 13 recipients between them have 204 years of experience, and he estimated they have taught more than 4,000 students and will teach more in the future. “You have gone the extra mile ... for the students, for your profession, for your school, for the school district.”
He said during the eight years he was principal of McMichael High School in Rockingham County, N.C., the number of teachers there with board certification grew from two to 18 because of the examples the first two set in activities and professionalism. “I hope you are leading the way for a lot more people in Henry County” to obtain certification, he said.
Officials have said 42 teachers took part in the first group, or cohort, of teachers pursuing National Board certification. Of those, 38 completed the process, and 11 passed all the requirements.
DeWitt House, the school system’s assistant superintendent of instruction/accountability and student achievement, said some others barely missed passing. Those who did not pass the test are in the process of retaking it, he said. “Pass or not pass, they are a better teacher for going through the process,” he added.
Allyson Rothrock, president of The Harvest Foundation, said over several years, Harvest has funded about $8 million for professional development of educators in grades K-12 in Henry County and Martinsville schools.
“It was the absolutely right investment,” and it is changing lives, she said. Traditionally, when budget cuts are being made, professional development gets cut, but it’s critical that educators keep abreast of cutting-edge techniques, Rothrock said.
An estimated crowd of more than 60 people attended the banquet at The Gallery in Martinsville.
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