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    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

For Release: April 2, 2003

State Board of Education Honors Four Teachers
for Achieving National Board Certification

The State Board of Education today honored four New Jersey teachers who have successfully completed requirements for national teaching certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Commissioner of Education William L. Librera presented the four teachers to the State Board for recognition and commendation.

"Today, we recognize four educators who made the commitment to seek national certification," said Commissioner of Education William Librera. "These educators have expanded their professional training with this prestigious accomplishment."

Commissioner Librera noted that Governor James E. McGreevey has supported efforts at the state level to encourage more New Jersey teachers to seek national certification. One of Governor McGreevey’s 21 points to achieve academic excellence in New Jersey is to develop a strategy to significantly increase the number of New Jersey Teachers who are National Board Certified, and to support teachers who seek that certification. To achieve this goal, the Department of Education is working closely with the Business Coalition for Educational Excellence at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce to provide outreach and support for teachers seeking national board certification.

The four New Jersey teachers honored for their areas of national certification area:

  • Holly Diane Beckford Williams, Early Childhood Through Young Adulthood/Exceptional Needs Specialist, Newark.
  • Gail Hooker, Early Adolescence/English Language Arts, Flemington-Raritan Regional
  • Michelle Kowalsky, Early Childhood Through Young Adulthood/Library Media, Hanover Park Regional
  • Kathleen Prisbell, Early Adolescence/English Language Arts, Barnegat Township

State Board of Education President Maud Dahme praised the teachers for their accomplishments and encouraged them to share what they have learned with their colleagues and students.

Commissioner Librera commended volunteer teachers who already hold national certification, State Farm Insurance, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and leaders of support site centers for their assistance to the candidates for national certification. Individuals singled out for their support of the national board program were Dana Egreczky and Jeff Osowski, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; Ryan Salonia, State Farm Insurance; Willa Spicer, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, South Brunswick Public Schools; Wayne Turner, director of staff development, Newark Public Schools; and Mary Ann Joseph and Jaymie Reeber Kosa, national board certified teachers.

Richard C. Ten Eyck, assistant commissioner for the Division of Educational Programs and Assessment, briefly described the rigor of the national certification process. Teachers completing national certification spend many extra hours studying and reflecting about their practices, developing comprehensive portfolios, and documenting community involvement and growth.

New Jersey currently has 61 teachers who have achieved national board certification. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was created as a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit organization. Its mission is to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, develop and operate a national voluntary system to certify teachers who meet these standards, and to advance related education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning.