Four English Teachers Achieve National Board Certification

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Four English teachers in the Central High School District recently earned National Board certification. 

They include Jessica Metkiff and Christy Rochford, English teachers at Kennedy High School, and Linu Chacko and William Morris, both English teachers at Mepham High School.

“During the process of earning National Board certification, Jessica examined both the ways in which she presents information and the ways in which her students illustrate their growth,” explained English chair Adeline Atkins. “Collaboration with other teachers prompted Jessica to support her traditional whole-class novel approach with that of a Book Club.”

This balanced approach to literary instruction challenges students to access their previous learning about detail selection, author’s purpose, and the writing process and to combine them with the expectations from their Socratic Seminars in order to produce both individual and collaborative work. 

“The Book Clubs allow for enhanced student interest as well as academically-driven activities that supported the traditional skills of the English classroom while providing students another opportunity to grow their love of reading,” added Atkins.

Rochford, who earned her certification last year, continually seeks ways to improve instruction. She also now serves as a National Board Certification trailblazer leading the current Bellmore-Merrick cohort.

“Ms. Chacko’s and Mr. Morris’s candidacy, which took approximately 24 months to complete, involved a number of assessments on teachers’ content knowledge, differentiation in instruction, teaching practice and learning environment, and effective and reflective practice,” explained Mary Donnelly, an English chair. “Sixty percent of their total score came from the creation of an extensive teaching portfolio that must include descriptive aspects of lessons or assignments, new and original analyses and reflections on teaching practice, samples of student work, and classroom videos.”

The National Board was created by teachers and represents a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The certification process requires that teachers demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning.