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Teachers Achieve National Board Certification
Two Bardstown City Schools (BCS) teachers have achieved National Board Certification (NBCT), bringing the total number of National Board-certified teachers in the school district to nine.

“Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous path that challenges educators to push their knowledge and skills of teaching to high levels,” said Dr. Ryan Clark, Superintendent of Bardstown City Schools. “I am very proud of Ms. Hill and Mr. Eveland and excited for the learning opportunities that will be provided for students under their care.”

The newly certified teachers are Danielle Hill (Bardstown Primary School) and Walt Eveland (Bardstown Middle School).

The certification process requires that teachers demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning in alignment with the Five Core Propositions. The process takes teachers anywhere from one to three years to seek certification all while teaching full-time.

Danielle Hill, a kindergarten teacher at Bardstown Primary School, began her journey four years ago.

“I want to spend my career as an educator in making a difference inside the classroom. I don’t have aspirations to be an administrator so working toward a third college degree didn’t make sense for me,” said Hill. “The National Board Certification process focuses on enhancing what educators are already doing in the classroom and really helped me to dig deeper.”

As part of her portfolio submitted, she had to videotape lessons and show other kinds of evidence that her teaching actually had an impact on students. Hill earned her NBCT certification in Early Childhood Generalist.

In the state of Kentucky, NBCT certification is one pathway to a Rank I professional certificate. That was one motivator for Walt Eveland, a social studies teacher at Bardstown Middle School.

“Initially I wanted to receive a Rank I and to challenge myself,” said Eveland. “Ultimately the process taught me I how to be a better teacher which improved my classroom for my students.”

Eveland is one of the few educators to earn their NBCT in Early Adolescent Social Studies.

Throughout the intense process both Eveland and Hill found a mentor in colleague Felicia Rudolph. Rudolph is a preschool teacher at Bardstown Early Childhood Education Center who became the first BCS educator to earn National Board Certification nearly ten years ago. Despite the Kentucky Department of Education no longer providing funds for mentors Felicia continues to serve as mentor for teachers seeking National Board Certification.

“I had to travel to Lawrenceburg for my mentor,” Rudolph explained to the Bardstown Board of Education. “She was a high school teacher and while her direct experience didn’t translate easily to what I do in the preschool setting she was able to help me out with the writing portion.”

The process does not end with initial certification. While serving as Hill and Eveland’s mentor Rudolph was seeking renewal for her NBCT. The renewal process is not guaranteed and required Rudolph to submit 25 pages of analysis and two videos to show how she has grown as a teacher in the last 10 years.

“Working with the candidates has kept me fresh on current teaching practices. I enjoyed seeing the candidates evolve as teachers and having the opportunity to work across the district is rewarding,” said Rudolph. “Working as a mentor as I completed my renewal process was beneficial for be to be fully immersed in the National Boards process.”

New NBCTs like Hill and Eveland will have to complete a portion of the portfolio and submit for grading every five years.

Kentucky teachers with national board certification earn a supplementary $2,000 a year.
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