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Nine Berkeley County Schools educators honored by board

With 44 National Board Certified Teachers now on staff, county is tied for third with Monongalia County for having the most statewide

February 05, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • The Berkeley County Board of Education on Tuesday recognized 11 teachers in the county school system who recently earned their National Board certification. They are from left: Cindy Evarts, Gina Pratt, Sherrie Hartman, Kevin Frankhouser, Sandy Marchese, Anthony Ponton, Kelly Kable, Mark Albright, Magdalene Frye, Jessica Ruqus and Erin Peralta.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County Schools for the second year in a row had the most educators achieve National Board Certification among the state’s 55 county school districts, officials were told Tuesday night.

Nine educators, including the county’s first national board certified counselor, were recognized by the Berkeley County Board of Education.

With 44 National Board Certified Teachers now on staff, Berkeley County is tied for third with Monongalia County for having the most statewide, according to school officials. Wood (82) and Cabell (56) counties lead the state, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which was formed in 1987 to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards.

Research shows that students taught by Board-certified teachers consistently achieve higher gains in achievement compared to peers who are not taught by Board-certified teachers, making learning gains equivalent to an extra one to two months in school, according to the NBPTS.

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Also recognized by the school board Tuesday were two teachers who achieved re-certification — Gerrardstown Elementary teacher Sandy Marchese, the school district’s first board-certified educator, and Cindy Evarts, who teaches at Orchard View Intermediate.

After having eight teachers achieve national board certification last year and nine in this 2011-12 class, Anne Laskey, the National Board Certification program coordinator for Berkeley County, smiled when she said she is aiming for a double digit number next year.

Berkeley County teachers who become certified receive a $3,000 pay increase from the school district for the first five years of the 10-year certification and $5,000 for the second five years.

The state provides an additional $3,500 pay increase for obtaining certification.

Laskey noted that Hedgesville Middle School had the most teachers to achieve national board certification with three out of the group.

One of them, Anthony Ponton, became the county’s first middle school English teacher to be board-certified, Laskey said.

The other Hedgesville Middle School teachers to become board-certified were Mark Albright and Jessica Ruqus, according to Laskey.

Officials noted that Ponton made good on his commitment to become board-certified after his wife, Margaret Ponton, achieved the certification last year.

Laskey said Hedgesville High School counselor Kevin Frankhouser was only the fourth counselor statewide to become board-certified and Bunker Hill Elementary teacher Sherrie Hartman became the first board-certified educator at her school. Back Creek Valley Elementary teacher Gina Pratt and Orchard View Intermediate teacher Magdalene Frye became the second educators at their respective schools to become board certified, Laskey said.

Musselman Middle School teacher Erin Peralta is only the second Spanish teacher in the county to become board-certified, Laskey said.

Kelly Kable became the fourth teacher to become board-certified at Spring Mills Middle School, Laskey said.

Superintendent Manny P. Arvon acknowledged the county’s incentive program for encouraging teachers to achieve National Board Certification, but said what board-certified teachers give back to the students is worth much more.

“I’m so proud of you,” Arvon said after each teacher was presented with a certificate and National Board Certified Teacher pin and individually congratulated by all five members of the school board.

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