By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
More than three dozen teachers from Northeast Mississippi recently received a prestigious recognition and a salary increase.
Forty-three Northeast Mississippi teachers were named National Board Certified Teachers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced Wednesday.
The certification is determined by the national organization, which developed a system of professional standards for accomplished teachers.
Being certified is a voluntary process, although many states offer financial incentives. In Mississippi, teachers with the certification receive an additional $6,000 per year.
Teachers say that the certification process takes at least a year to complete and can consume 250 to 500 hours. Certification must be renewed after 10 years.
“It is a very intense learning process as well as an opportunity for a teacher to show they’ve mastered the national teacher standards,” said Tupelo Deputy Superintendent Diana Ezell.
Mississippi had 120 newly certified teachers this year, which ranked 16th in the country but represented a significant decline over recent years.
The state had 222 newly certified teachers last year, and the 120 newly certified teachers is the lowest state total since 1998. Several superintendents attributed the decline to the Mississippi Legislature’s discussion last year about dropping the $6,000 supplement.
Ezell said teachers have to pay $2,000 to complete certification.
“Most of them are not doing it for the money, they are doing it to better themselves as a teacher, but they may not want to go through all of that if the state of Mississippi is not going to pay,” Tishomingo County Superintendent Malcolm Kuykendall said.
Mississippi ranks eighth in the country in its total number of National Board Certified Teachers with 3,222. The Tupelo Public School District has the third most board certified teachers in the state with 99.
Tupelo had one teacher certified this year, Parkway Elementary’s Leslie Hilliard. The Lee County School District had four newly certified teachers – Deanna Gable (Guntown), Nancy Long (Saltillo Elementary), Kristi Massey (Plantersville) and Laci McClung (Guntown).
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or email@example.com.
Board-certified teachers from Northeast Mississippi
■ Julia Aron, Calhoun County; Dustin Baldwin,
Pontotoc County; Melba Bowlin, Benton County;
Stephanie Bristow, West Point; Martha Charlwood, Union County; Cynthia Danley, Itawamba County; Whitney Drewrey, Oxford; Donna Durham, Prentiss County; Sylvia Faulkner, Monroe County; Heather Ferrell, New Albany; Brianna Foster, Lafayette County; Deanna Gable, Lee County; Carrie Greene, Corinth; Cheryl Hall, Marshall County; Laura Hall, Tishomingo County; Heather Hannah, Starkville; Leslie Hilliard, Tupelo; Heather Hunt, Monroe County; Kalissa Johnson, Aberdeen; Evelyn Jones, Monroe County; Amanda Little, Pontotoc County; Nancy Long, Lee County; Tiffany Lowrey, Tishomingo County; Jennifer Mackey, Monroe County; Kristi Massey, Lee County; Kelly Matthews, Pontotoc County; Laci McClung, Lee County; Molly Michael, Booneville; Janessa Miles, Starkville; Angela
Miller, West Point; Mary Moore, Oxford; Pamela
Moore, North Tippah; Pamela Odom, Calhoun County; Melissa Overby, Tishomingo County; Sylvia Paige, Starkville; Sheila Pearson, Monroe County; Dora Phillips, Starkville; Felicia Pollard, Pontotoc City; Wendy Raby, Oxford; Jason Randolph, Tishomingo County; Dana Russell, Pontotoc City; Angela Victory, New Albany; Amy Wilkins, Pontotoc County.