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Reception honors work on Excellent Teacher program

They had to complete portfolios of work, demonstrate that they knew their subject matter and take a lengthy exam, and now they're waiting to find out if they made the grade.

But these folks aren't students. They're teachers.

Twenty-nine Citrus teachers from schools across the district have participated in the National Board Certification/Florida Excellent Teacher program this year. Recently, the School District honored them with a reception, and the School Board recognized their work.

"Thank you for completing the process," Superintendent Pete Kelly told the teachers as they gathered at the board meeting. "The Citrus County schools will be better because of what you have done."

In November, after a team of examiners look at the materials they have submitted, they will learn whether they will receive the national certificate and state designation of Florida Excellent Teacher. With that designation comes a bonus of about $3,500.

While that bonus is a one-time event, the Legislature can renew it in coming years, said Linda Ferrara, teacher on special assignment for planning and development.

"They had to do an awful lot" to participate in the program, Ferrara said. "Each category had to do a little bit different . . . but they all had to demonstrate that they knew their subject matter and they knew their students."

According to Ferrara's memo to the School Board, the teachers must demonstrate critical thinking skills, subject knowledge and knowledge of a student's developmental stages. The entire process takes about nine months and more than 200 hours of work outside the school day. The work includes videotaping lessons, explaining how the lessons were planned and carried out, and an evaluation of how the lesson helped students learn.

They also must show how they work with parents and families to improve student education and how they have continued their own professional development.

"The best part of all of this is that it ties directly back to student achievement," Ferrara said.

Teachers completing the program were: Robin Bell and Brenda Dalton, Lecanto Middle School; Linda Cooper, Michelle Loreth, Beth Cornelius and Rose Keasey, Lecanto Primary School; Jean Jaworski, Dawn Mundy and Sandy Cross, Inverness Primary School; Janet Miley and Joyce Scott, Hernando Elementary School; Mary Moore and Kevin Bingham, Citrus High School; Randy Hobson, Citrus Springs Middle School; Mary Persinger and Suzette Pelton, Crystal River Middle School; Sarah Garrett, Homosassa Elementary School; Laura Manos, Sharon Miller, Jo Anne McBrearty, Patty Mogg and Joyce Sablone, Pleasant Grove Elementary School; Mary Ann Vantine, Martha Brown and Gerri Lennard, Citrus Springs Elementary School; Craig Jaworski, Nancy Hemenway and Steve Crandall, Inverness Middle School; and Martha Sleep, Lecanto High School.

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