The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards honored Mountain View High School teachers Cecilia QuiÃ±ones and Steven Kahl Dec. 9 for achieving National Board Certification.
National Board Certification is a voluntary program designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers who have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. It is considered the most prestigious credential a teacher can earn. Teachers who achieve national certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluations, self-assessment and peer review.
Board-certified teachers in the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District include Barbara Kaufman at Mountain View High and Carl Babb, Tiffany Karow, JoAnne Miyahara, Dee Dee Pearce, Keren Robertson, Galen Rosenberg and Terri Salsman de Rodriguex at Los Altos High.
"We applaud these outstanding teachers for their deep understanding of their subject matter and their ability to motivate, engage and monitor student performance," said Superintendent Barry Groves. "In addition to addressing the diversity of student needs in our district, they have also contributed to teaching at their schools."
As part of the certification process, teachers must document collaboration with other teachers to improve school curriculum. In addition to incorporating educational research findings into their own practices, they are expected to use this knowledge in a leadership role.
QuiÃ±ones, who teaches Foreign Languages, saw the need for a new AP (advanced placement) course in Spanish Literature at Mountain View High for students who had completed the AP course. With support from the school administration, QuiÃ±ones prepared the Spanish AP Literature curriculum and taught the course for the past four years.
"The significance of this course lies in its content. Students who are up to the challenge are able to improve their critical reading skills by analyzing literature written in another language," QuiÃ±ones said. "The effort that our students invest in this class is immeasurable."
Earlier this year, the National Research Council issued a congressionally mandated report on the effectiveness of the teacher certification program. It confirmed through analysis of research studies that students taught by National Board Certified teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than those taught by teachers who have not applied or have not achieved advanced certification.
The Carnegie Foundation funded the study that led to the formation of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 1986. Currently, more than 73,000 teachers nationwide have achieved National Board Teacher Certification. In California, 365 teachers were certified this year.