Two New National Board Certified Teachers Join Group for CCPS - Southern Maryland Headline News

Two New National Board Certified Teachers Join Group for CCPS

Michelle Ignaszewski, from the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center, and Shelby Spence, from the North Point High School.
Michelle Ignaszewski, from F.B. Gwynn Educational Center, and Shelby Spence, from North Point High School.

LA PLATA, Md. (Jan. 20, 2016)—Two Charles County Public Schools teachers, Michelle Ignaszewski at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center and Shelby Spence at North Point High School, recently joined the ranks of accomplished teachers nationwide who achieved national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

Both teachers completed a performance-based assessment series to become National Board Certified Teachers. The assessment is designed to measure what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The process requires teachers to demonstrate how their activities strengthen student performance and student achievement.

Ignaszewski and Spence join 30 other Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) teachers who hold current national certification status. Ignaszewski is an adaptive physical education resource teacher at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center and earned her certification in the area of physical education/early and middle childhood. She began her career with the school system in 2009.

In her role as an adaptive physical education teacher, Ignaszewski works with students with disabilities and provides resources and support to staff. She works with students at the elementary school levels in the STAY and Multiple Intensities programs. Additionally, Ignaszewski is the Unified Sports Coordinator for high school programs, a member of the Consortium for Adapted Physical Education (MAPEC) and coordinator of the Young Athletes Program, a pilot CCPS gross motor program for students ages 2 to 6.

Ignaszewski has a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education with a concentration in adapted physical education from State University of New York, College at Brockport and a Master of Science in education with a focus in adapted physical education, also from State University of New York, College at Brockport.

Spence is an English teacher at North Point High School and earned her certification in the area of English language arts/adolescence and young adulthood. She began her career with CCPS in 2008 at North Point, where she has taught for the past eight school years. Spence currently teaches English II and English III. She is also the co-sponsor for the National Honor Society and advisor to students in the STARS, or Scholars Targeting Academic Rigor with Success, program.

Spence has a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Thiel College. She also earned her master’s degree in counseling in 2008 from Youngstown State University.

National Board Certified Teachers must complete a rigorous 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.

These teachers join more than 4,700 teachers nationwide who were certified in 2015. Certification is valid for 10 years, after which a teacher may complete the renewal process. Maryland has 2,785 teachers who are nationally certified and is one of the top 15 states with the highest participation in the certification process.

By achieving National Board Certification, Charles County teachers are eligible for a stipend added to their annual salary as long as they maintain their National Board Certification status. 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. Information about the application process is available on the NBPTS website at

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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