Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fewer Pasco teachers aim for National Board certification

DADE CITY — Cox Elementary School first-grade teacher Jennifer Ackett had a goal when she set out to earn National Board certification.

She wanted to improve her teaching skills, and she planned to use the annual bonus that comes with the recognition to pay for a master's degree in education. Mission accomplished on both fronts.

Ackett has begun pursuing her advanced degree, and, she says, she has become a better teacher.

"I am much more reflective in my teaching and my thinking," she said, crediting the hundreds of hours she spent working with a mentor to examine her methods and lessons. "I did find it very rewarding."

Over the years, that has been the motivation for dozens of Pasco County teachers to go after the extra level of professional development and certification. And the state of Florida has valued the effort by paying their $2,500 application fees, plus giving bonuses of nearly $5,000 for being certified and another nearly $5,000 for mentoring other teachers.

Florida shot to the top of the charts in terms of numbers of teachers completing the program, second only to North Carolina in total National Board teachers.

Then Florida lawmakers removed much of the incentive. In 2008, they stopped paying the application fee and canceled the mentoring bonus.

Many teachers, facing increasing costs and no raises, bailed on the system.

In Pasco, just 11 teachers completed National Board certification this year, down from 34 in 2008 and 36 in 2007. That two-thirds drop mirrored the decline statewide.

"It is what we anticipated in terms of the impact," Pasco assistant superintendent Ruth Reilly said.

She called National Board certification a "wonderful professional development experience," but predicted it might give way in Florida to other alternatives if the funding does not return.

"In the Race to the Top, we are going to be looking at different ways of getting our high-level teacher leaders involved, and there will be some incentives for them," Reilly said, alluding to the federal dollars the Obama administration is offering for education reform.

"Teacher leaders are a critical part of how we move our system forward," Reilly said.

Karen Garr, regional outreach director for National Board, said she was pleased with Florida's results given the loss of state funding. She expected the certification numbers will bounce back, particularly because its requirements fit well with the national Race to the Top effort.

"It is appearing in the Race to the Top proposals in other states," Garr said. "Do I think this (Florida's dip) is irreversible? Absolutely not."

Ackett said she was able to get through the program because she entered before the state ended its financial support. She said it's worth it professionally.

"It's an intense amount of work," Ackett said. "I'm a much better teacher for it. ... I would highly recommend the process."

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at solochek@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

Fast facts

Pasco County's newest National Board certified teachers

Jennifer Ackett, Rodney B. Cox Elementary School

Becky Brown, West Zephyrhills Elementary School

Carol Ciadella, Gulfside Elementary School

Carrie Cohen, Centennial Elementary School

Kirsten Hudas, Centennial Elementary School

Tonya Kindberg, Trinity Elementary School

David Lammie, Chasco Middle School

Nicole Lijewski, Trinity Elementary School

Ashlee Moore, Lake Myrtle Elementary School

Laura Poorman, Double Branch Elementary School

Shannon Simon, Raymond B. Stewart Middle School

Source: Pasco County

School Board

Fewer Pasco teachers aim for National Board certification 12/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 8:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

    World

    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  4. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond

    Crime

    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman says election is about moving forward

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office  Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward..

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally