Teacher Joins National Ranks

Chace Blackburn

Hanover teacher Brian Letourneau
recently achieved the status of National
Board Certification, one of the highest
awards bestowed upon teachers.
National Board Certification, which
describes itself as “an advanced teaching
credential, requiring command of
content, the ability to design appropriate
learning experiences, the use
of assessments to inform instructional
decisions, and partnership with colleagues,
parents, and the community.”
But how exactly does the teacher
demonstrate these skills?
“You must submit four portfolios,
videotapes of class activities, examples
of student work, written commentary,
and analysis and reflection,” Letourneau
said.
When asked to describe why he became
involved in this clearly strenuous
process, Letourneau responded, “I
felt it was a good point in my career,
and it provided a good professional advantage.
I was inspired by the teachers
that had previously received National
Board Certification, such as Frances
McMillan, Victoria Hutto, Samantha
Ratchford, Lee Naughton, and Stephanie
Stockman.
As well, he noted that the decision
was his, over all.
“If I wanted to move, which I don’t,
it would give me an edge in applying
for positions. It makes one look proactive
in their profession.”
Offering advice for other teachers
regarding the process, he says, “Professionally,
it’s one of the best things
you can do. But, it is a part time job,
requiring one and a half hours every
night. If you have a significant other,
you will really need their support.”
Victoria Hutto, who recieved National
Board Certification in 2010, says
she chose to apply because of the challenging
nature of the process.
“Teachers with it display excellent
professional ability. As well, the
process makes you think about your
teaching techniques, and if they are
serving you. It affirms you, as a teacher.”
Hanover is lucky to have several
teachers with National Board Certification.
Frances McMillan is one of those
teachers, and also a catalyst in Letourneau
deciding to apply for the honor.
“Lee Naughton, the AP 12 teacher,
who was my department chair and
probably the most influential person
in my career, was a huge influence.
She made me want to be better in my
career,” McMillan said.
McMillan recalls how she received
an email from the county, soliciting
applicants for the next round of National
Board Certification.
“I deleted it initially, as I didn’t
know what it was. But Lee forwarded
it to me, and told me that I should do
it. At first, I was incredulous, but she
essentially coached me through it.”
McMillan remembers the experience
of sending off the part of the application
in March, sitting for the “ridiculous”
assessment in May, and then
receiving notification in November.
“The server crashed! I was supposed
to find out Friday at noon, and I found
out Sunday at 5 o’clock,” she recalls.
“I didn’t go through a traditional
teacher program, and I always felt
there was something I’d missed. That
was a huge incentive for me to complete
the program,” McMillan said, “I
am glad Lee and I helped Letourneau
through it, he deserves it.”

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