Look for the best teachers in the state of Ohio and you'll likely find them with national board certification. This year, the State Board of Education announced, 417 Ohio teachers achieved certification, the fifth highest number in the nation. Of those fine educators, 27 are from Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The national certification program is a rigorous and voluntary process of self-evaluation that takes nearly a year to complete and concludes with a lengthy comprehensive exam. Considering the importance that education holds in the future of our state and our region, we congratulate the local teachers who have attained this special designation.
Columbiana County: Mary L. Handley, Colleen M. McNeal and Joan E. Schomer of the Columbiana County Educational Service Center; Barbara L. Jeffries of East Liverpool schools and Kathryn Goerig of Southern Local.
Mahoning County: Ruth A. Murosko and January A. Nelson in the Austintown Local Schools; Leah M. Brown, Jesse V. McClain, Doreen A. Miner and Carolyn Nybell of the Boardman Local School District; Nancy A. Hulea and Carl A. Pennington of Canfield Local Schools and Kathleen D. Jones Sekol from Columbiana Exempted Village
Other newly certified teachers from Mahoning County are Alicia N. Williams, Poland Local; Mary A. Davis, Springfield Local; Karen L. Patterson, Western Reserve Local; from the Youngstown City Schools, Cynthia K. Bruno, Jeanne M. Constantino and Bonita K. Gauding; and Sherri L. Kitzmiller, West Branch Local.
Added to Trumbull County's roster of certified teachers are Heather M. Wagner, Champion Local; Carol A. Hart , McDonald Local; Cynthia L. Dressel, Carol J. Jesse and Erikka L. Sampson of the Warren City Schools; and Jeanette M. Ciancetta of Weathersfield Local.
Commitment: Teachers who set certification as a goal demonstrate their commitment to professionalism in education. They must demonstrate their knowledge of subject matter as well as their ability to teach it.
It's also expensive.
But Ohio is one of 39 states that offer incentives to encourage teacher participation. In 2000-01 the Ohio Legislature provided funds to pay each candidate's $2,300 application fee as well as $300,000 in grants to fund 18 regional support sites for Ohio National Board candidates. This school year, 900 Ohio candidates are pursuing certification with support from the state and $250,000 has been allocated for 23 regional support sites.
Although Ohio's budget is unduly tight this year, support for the teacher certification program should not be cut. Excellent teachers offer children a priceless gift in the education they provide.