A teacher from Corry Area Middle-High School has achieved National Board Certification — the first and only time an educator in the district has earned the top teaching honor.

Middle-school art teacher Mary Beth Brown, a 12-year employee, recently finished the almost two-year process, which is sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

“It’s a huge accomplishment,” said Gail Swank, Corry’s middle-school principal. “It requires a lot of commitment, dedication and hard work on her part. It’s extremely difficult and time-consuming, and it requires her to go above and beyond.”

To become certified, participants enroll in a voluntary assessment program designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers.

National Board Certification is achieved through performance-based assessments that typically take one to three years to complete.

While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, National Board Certified teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.

“I signed up not realizing the magnitude of the process,” Brown said. “After attending my first class at Gannon, I realized what I had done, and well, I am not one to quit something I start.”

Acting on the advice from a former district administrator, Judy Sharer, Brown enrolled in the program as a valuable way to earn Act 48 hours.

Act 48, which became effective in 2000, requires all Pennsylvania educators to participate in ongoing professional education. The credits must be attained every five years for teachers to remain in an active status. Educators may choose how to fulfill their requirements from a variety of classes and course offerings.

See the Journal's Tuesday, December 8th edition for full story.

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