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TST BOCES Teacher Renews National Board Certification

Laura Havill, a Special Education teacher and Instructional Coach at TST BOCES’ Exceptional Education Department is one of thousands of teachers across the United States to renew their certification as a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT).

“Today’s announcement is a reason to celebrate teachers who are committed to their students and the teaching profession,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, President and CEO of The National Board. “It’s a joy to recognize the thousands who have shown that they teach to the highest standards in the profession. Research makes clear that the 125,000 NBCTs teaching in our nation’s schools have a significant impact on student learning. Students of all backgrounds are the beneficiaries. The future becomes brighter as we all work towards an accomplished teacher for every student, in every classroom, across the country.”

Havill first achieved National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist in 2011 after being told by an administrator that improving your practice after 14 years was impossible.

“I took that as a challenge,” said Havill. “At that time, you completed a full National Board submission in a school year, so it was quite an undertaking. But, I found it a rewarding deep dive into my own classroom practice. The National Board process invites you to look at what you are doing and consider how to do it better.”

In 2016, through the leadership of TST BOCES Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Matteson, Havill became aware of the National Board Council of NY and its efforts to create a network across the state to raise awareness of accomplished teaching.

“National Board Certification gave me an in, a shared language that opened doors to have continued conversations around practice around the state,” said Havill. “When I achieved there were only a few NBCTs in the TST BOCES region. Thanks to the COSER established by TST BOCES, teachers around our region have been supported through their own National Board Journey via our cohorts and professional learning facilitators. It has made it easier for districts to support motivated teachers to improve their practice.”

The TST BOCES National Board Support COSER provides access to a variety of learning opportunities and individualized support. This support is continuing virtually as a safety measure during the ongoing pandemic. The COSER also allows the expense of substitutes, workshops and conferences to be aidable. Twelve educators across six districts have completed the process since 2017, with more currently working on their certifications.

 "Supporting teachers in achieving National Board Certification is one of the most compelling ways to impact the education a student receives in the classroom,” Dr. Matteson said. “The beauty is in the process, as the activities tied to achieving this standard are embedded in the daily work of the courageous educator that embraces this pathway. I applaud Laura Havill and all the NBCT's in our region and around the state for committing to this high bar of professionalism, which exemplifies their over the top commitment to our students."

The National Board is working to set the expectation that all teachers in every classroom should demonstrate accomplished teaching via National Board certification and become leaders in their schools and communities. Every child should have the opportunity to learn from an accomplished teacher.