East Hawaii News

Big Island Teachers Become Nationally Certified

January 16, 2014, 9:43 AM HST
* Updated January 23, 5:06 PM
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Three Big Island teachers were among 44 public school teachers statewide who achieved national board certification in 2013.

Monica Chavez of Kealakehe Intermediate, Malia Perry of Waiakea Elementary and Travis Toriano of Hilo Intermediate each “demonstrated the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare students for 21st century success,” said an announcement from the state Department of Education.

Hawaii has experienced the fastest recent growth in the number of national board-certified teachers in the nation, jumping 65% in the past year, and now has a total of 469 NBCTs, according to the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

The statewide total includes teachers at Kamehameha Schools, which are not part of the public school system. Fifteen KS teachers in Hawaii County also met the requirements of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for teacher certification last year, the DOE reported.

The State of Hawaii Teacher Standards Board, Hawaii State Teachers Association and Kamehameha Schools have formed a partnership to provide administrative and technical support to teachers interested in seeking National Board Certification.

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To date, more than 106,000 teachers in 50 states and around the world have achieved the certification, which requires a performance-based, peer-review process similar to board certification in fields such as medicine. the DOE announcement said.

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Research shows that NBCTs have a significant impact on student achievement and that their students outperform peers in other classrooms, said the DOE, adding that a 2012 Harvard University study found that students of NBCTs made learning gains equivalent to an additional two months of instruction in math and one month in English language arts.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the achievement of our new NBCTs,” said public schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Their achievement is not only a testament to their hard work, determination and impact on their students’ learning, it is a reflection of Hawaii’s strong commitment to supporting all teachers in their pursuit of national board certification.”

The Hawaii DOE is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country, comprised of 288 schools and more than 185,000 students. Visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

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***Updated Jan. 23 to correct that Malia Perry teaches at Waiakea Elementary School, not Waiakea Intermediate.***

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