Watauga County Schools has been named an Accomplished District by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a national non-profit organization that certifies teachers based on a rigorous set of evaluations and standards.
The recognition is given to school districts in which 20 percent or more of teachers have achieved National Board certification. Watauga County is one of just 79 school districts across the nation that were awarded the Accomplished District designation.
To achieve a National Board certification, teachers must prepare a series of essays, presentations and videos that demonstrate their content knowledge, differentiation in instruction, command of teaching practices and learning environment, and their abilities as an effective and reflective practitioner of teaching.
“Attaining a National Board certification is a powerful statement of a teacher’s dedication to their craft,” Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said. “Getting certified is one of the best things a teacher can do to advance their training and commitment to their profession. We are lucky to have so many teachers in Watauga who are willing to undergo the process of becoming certified. It’s a testament to the quality of the teachers who are leading our classrooms.”
Watauga County Schools has a National Board certified teacher at each of its schools and across all grade levels.
Tamara Stamey, Watauga County Schools Chief Academic Officer, said the school district valued board certification highly. Stamey said the district provides a system of support to teachers who are interested in undertaking the certification process.
Watauga County Schools is home to a National Board Certification Support Academy staffed by veteran certified teachers who meet monthly and work to aid others in the process of obtaining a certification, giving feedback to their work and practices as they work through the process.
Stamey said National Board certification is an all-encompassing professional development opportunity for teachers. She said, through the course of the certification process, teachers must demonstrate that they are continually evaluating and reflecting on their practices and their ability to understand where their students are, and make a plan to move them forward.
Elliott said a National Board certification is a credit to the high standards district-wide in Watauga County Schools.
“The National Board Certification process is rigorous and can be difficult to undergo. It’s a further credit to these teachers that it’s entirely voluntary,” Elliott said. “Teachers who choose to pursue a certification expect the best from themselves and their students and are a great asset to our schools.”