Five Charles Teachers Earn National Certification

LA PLATA, Md. (Dec. 22, 2008)—Five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) teachers joined the ranks of accomplished teachers nationwide who achieved National Board Certification.

The teachers, Wanda Bulkowski-Larson, Wendie Newcamp, Beth Winkler, Kristen Lednum and Tracie Gregan, completed a year-long performance-based assessment series to become Nationally Board Certified Teachers, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

Bulkowski-Larsen is an art teacher at La Plata High School and earned a national certificate in art/early adolescence through young adulthood.

Newcamp is a gifted education resource teacher at General Smallwood Middle School and earned an English language arts/early adolescence certificate.

Winkler is a kindergarten teacher at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School and earned a generalist/early childhood certificate.

Lednum is a fifth-grade elementary teacher at William B. Wade Elementary School and earned a generalist/middle childhood certificate.

Gregan is a kindergarten teacher at Mary B. Neal Elementary School and earned a generalist/early childhood certificate.

Nationally Board Certified Teachers must complete an extensive review of their skills and work, which includes teacher portfolios, student work samples, videotapes, and thorough analysis of the candidates' classroom teaching and student learning. Teachers also complete a series of written exercises that probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach that material to students.

The five CCPS teachers join 9,600 teachers nationwide, and 302 in Maryland who achieved National Board Certification in 2008. Certification is valid for 10 years, after which a teacher may seek renewal. Charles County Public Schools has 19 nationally certified teachers.

By achieving National Board Certification, the Charles County teachers are eligible for a $2,500 stipend added to their annual salary as well as an annual $2,000 incentive from the Maryland State Department of Education as long as they remain in the classroom and maintain their National Board Certification. More than two-thirds of states provide salary incentives and cover the cost for teachers who pursue and achieve this advanced credential.

"I commend each of these teachers for successfully completing the rigorous process to earn national certification. It speaks to their commitment to their students, the classroom and their professionalism. These teachers demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skills, dispositions and commitments. Charles County Public Schools supports NBPTS and its goals," said Superintendent James E. Richmond.

Only teachers with a standard or advanced professional certificate who have a minimum of three years successful teaching experience are eligible to apply for National Board Certification.

More information about NBPTS can be found at the NBPTS Web site at

Source: Charles County public school system

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