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UCPS honors National Board Certified teachers at annual event

UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis presents Kate Lokash, a teacher at Porter Ridge Elementary, with her National Board plaque, which will be posted beside the door of her classroom. She was one of 30 newly certified UCPS teachers honored recently for their hard work.

There are 370 Union County Public School teachers who have attained their National Board certification. Thirty of those are newly certified and were honored recently for their hard work.

The honorees and their guests were treated to dinner compliments of the UCPS Child Nutrition and wonderful piano music by Mr. Franklin Casstevens of Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts. Virginia Gutierrez of the Human Resources Department, accompanied by Tina Fincher of the Elementary Education Department, sang “Climb Every Mountain” and “The Impossible Dream.”

“This is a great school system and it’s a great school system for a lot of reasons. I think, first and foremost, it is because we have great teachers,” UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis said to honorees during his closing remarks. “I thank you and applaud you for modeling the expectations of excellence and professionalism on a daily basis. You are all to be commended on the great job that you do.”

Davis was speaking to not only the 30 newly certified teachers, but also to the 17 educators who renewed their certification.

UCPS board member Marce Savage thanked the honorees for their achievement. “Thank you for your passion of teaching. You’ve sacrificed countless hours from your family to help make a difference. Your hard work does not go unnoticed… Because of you, we will continue to be one of the top achieving school districts in the state. Thank you.”

Those in attendance included not only family and friends, but also members of the Union County Board of Education, Representative Craig Horn from the NC House of Representatives, UCPS Central Office staff, UCPS principals and assistant principals, Carol Patterson, UCPS Coordinator for National Board Support, as well as other UCPS National Board certified teachers.

The guest speaker for the event was the 2011-12 UCPS Teacher of the Year Maya Schultz from Cuthbertson High who reminisced about her journey last year to obtain her National Board Certification. “May you continue to have a bigger picture in mind for all of your lessons as you consider where your students are and where you want them to be,” she said.

Newly certified teacher, Brandon Griffith added, “I’m thrilled and would absolutely encourage my colleagues to pursue their certification.”

Renewed teacher, Marni Menkin offered some advice for the teachers wishing to begin the renewal process. “My advice for the newly certified teachers is first, take a breath, sit back and look at what you have accomplished. Taking the time to look and analyze your own teaching is never easy but the gains are incredible. Continue down the path you travel and as your renewal year approaches you truly won't have to dig for evidence. You will have left a trail behind you!”

Below is the complete audio of the 7 speakers from the celebration as well as the video of the honorees that played before the celebration.

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National Board Certification requires an extensive series of performance-based assessments including teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes, analyses of the individual’s teaching ability and the level of student learning. Teachers also complete a series of written exercises testing their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach those subjects.

A 63-member board of directors, the majority of whom are classroom teachers, governs the National Board. It was created in 1987 as a non-partisan, independent and nonprofit organization with a mission to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know, and to be able to assess and certify teachers who meet those standards. It also strives to advance education reforms to improve student learning in American schools.

Below is the complete list of this year’s National Board honorees.

  • Tiffany Adcox, Rea View Elementary
  • Janeva Bailey, Cuthbertson High
  • Elizabeth Bartell, Marvin Ridge High
  • Jennifer Ciano, Benton Heights Elementary
  • Melissa Coble, Fairview Elementary
  • Nicole Crowley, Porter Ridge Middle School
  • Renee Denninger, Rock Rest Elementary
  • Philip Ferron, Cuthbertson Middle
  • Donna Forbis, Benton Heights Elementary
  • Jennifer Grieco, Rocky River Elementary
  • Brandon Griffith, Piedmont High
  • Moira Hancock, Marvin Elementary
  • Sarah Haydn, East Union Middle
  • Victoria Lashley, Cuthbertson High
  • Amanda Laughlin, Forest Hills High
  • Anne Lee, Weddington High
  • Katherine Lokash, Porter Ridge Elementary
  • Tiffany Manley, Weddington High
  • Lisa Randall, East Union Middle
  • Mary Katherine Rochefort, Indian Trail Elementary
  • Leah Ross, Cuthbertson High
  • Bryan Rudolph, Forest Hills High
  • Carolyn Rust, Rocky River Elementary
  • Bonnie Shaw, Benton Heights Elementary
  • Sibyll Spoons-Salazar, Weddington High
  • Michael Tarkka, Porter Ridge High
  • Jaime Tejada, Monroe High
  • Veronica Terradista, Porter Ridge Elementary
  • Nancy Werkmeister, Parkwood Middle
  • Jill Zandrowicz, Marshville Elementary


  • Leslie Carmichael, Wesley Chapel Elementary
  • Cindy Lou Crabtree, Benton Heights Elementary School Of The Arts
  • April Dawkins, Porter Ridge High
  • Debra Ann Every, Marvin Ridge High
  • Melinda Jane Jobe, Poplin Elementary
  • Vicki Hodge Lynch, Western Union Elementary
  • Carrie Kessler Mabry, Sun Valley High
  • Teresa Matheson, Wesley Chapel Elementary
  • Wendy Mays, Marvin Elementary
  • Marni Menkin, Marvin Elementary
  • Celeste Myers, Porter Ridge Middle
  • Cynthia Pope, Union Elementary
  • Christina Rose, Porter Ridge Middle
  • Jackie Jackson Simpson, Technology Services
  • Miranda Thomas, Marvin Elementary
  • Nancy Threatt, Indian Trail Elementary
  • Frances Calcutt Toledano, Rea View Elementary

Written by: Don Mace, UCPS Web Communications Coordinator
Video by: Don Mace
Posted: Jan 20, 2012 by Don Mace

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