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For Immediate Release: Dec. 7, 2007
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Three South Dakota teachers earn prestigious certification

Three South Dakota teachers earned National Board Certification in 2007. The certification is recognized as one of the highest credentials in the teaching profession.

“When it comes to impacting student learning, there is no replacement for a good teacher,” said Education Secretary Rick Melmer. “National Board Certification is a rigorous process that promotes quality teaching. The teachers who earn this certification represent some of the state’s most dedicated and qualified professionals, and we are pleased to support their efforts.”

South Dakota teachers who earned National Board Certification in 2007 are:

• Angie Hejl, Science, Adolescence and Young Adulthood, Yankton School District

• Nicole Keegan, Science, Early Adolescence, Rapid City Area School District

• Doreen Schultz, Generalist/Middle Childhood, Edgemont School District

South Dakota public school teachers who earn National Board Certification receive a $1,000 stipend per year for five years from their local school district. The South Dakota Department of Education also provides a $1,000 stipend per year for five years. The money is provided as an incentive for teachers to pursue this advanced degree.

A voluntary process established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Board Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that takes one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.