CHARLESTON, W. Va.– Sixty-one West Virginia teachers were honored Wednesday night in CharlestonĀ for achieving the highest credential in the teaching profession.

Those teachers earned the National Board Certification for 2012 and the West Virginia Department of Education recognized them at a ceremony at the Clay Center.

Williamstown High School Science teacher Jaime Seltzer was one of those teachers honored at the Clay Center and she couldn’t be happier.

“It’s a lot of work to get here,” she said. “A lot of people compare it to getting a masters degree or getting a doctorate and a lot of people take up to three years to pass so I feel very happy that I am here on my first time.”

The National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers and make them better. It’s mission is to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

Seltzer said the program is one of a kind.

“National Boards more than anything else that I’ve seen really lays out a blueprint for how to be a good teacher and what best practice really is and how you can improve,” said Seltzer.

As part of the program, teachers have to take six subject matter based written tests that take about a half hour each and complete four portfolios, two of which are videos where a teacher tapes themselves teaching and then writes an analysis paper on what they did wrong and what they did right.

Seltzer said it takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

“I think that National Boards gives you a lot to work with and it kind of lays out what you need to do to be really good,” Seltzer said. “I think this should be something that everybody at least looks at even if they don’t give it a try.”

This year’s honorees bring the number of National Board Certified Teachers in West Virginia schools to 700. Across the country, 102,237 teachers have become National Board Certified.

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  • Tim Johnson

    I'm a teacher with a masters plus 45. Just because they are "nationally board certified" doesn't make them "great teachers". It's about getting off your butts, motivating the students, and teaching them the subject. Give me a break!

    • Craig Snyder

      The National Board process is very rigorous and both subjectively and objectively verifies teacher ability and knowledge background of teachers. The state reimburses teachers at different points in the process. Having watched people to through the process, but having never gone through it myself, it definitely improves teaching quality. It's certainly ok if a teacher chooses not to go through the process, but it is definitely appropriate to celebrate these teachers' extra effort to achieve this non-required certification.

    • Metzger

      Well said....

  • stophating


    OMG---Please don't spend one cent to honor those that spent about $4000 out of their own pocket to prove they are among the best teachers in there field. We definitely don't want them to feel in the least that this state appreciates what they do for students.

    NBPTS is a 10 year certification, that takes countless hours to attain. Whereas TFA takes anyone with a BA and throws them into the classroom with 3 weeks of training. Not a comparison that anyone should ever make, nor any professional should have to defend.

    @Michael and Davy--- the recipients are listed on the WVDE website.

  • Davy

    Must be a secret... ?common cord?

  • Michael

    Who are they?

  • Joe

    A couple of questions....

    1) How many teachers are currently active in WV? Just want to get an idea of what 700 board certified represents percentage-wise, as certification was an argument against hiring Teach for America (or whatever that outfit is called).

    2). Am I correct in assuming that private corporate sponsorship or donations paid for this event? I would think taxpayer moneĆ½ would be far better spent on students and facilities. Many professionals work toward and earn applicable certification. Just wondering why the expense of this if public money was used given the current financial condition of WV.