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Parkway Teacher Achieves National Board Certification

Parkway Central Middle School science teacher Karen LaFever recently received National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). She becomes the fourth Parkway teacher to achieve the certification. To Karen, the certification means much more than just an award for herself. "The certification gives validation to the career of teaching," she says. "This is a career with professional goals and objectives, and this helps show that all teachers should be treated as professionals." National Board Certification measures a teachers practice against the high and rigorous NBPTS standards. The process is an extensive series of performance-based assessments that includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and thorough analyses of the candidates classroom teaching and student learning. Teachers also complete a series of written exercises that probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge, as well as their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students. Less than 300 teachers in the state of Missouri have NBPTS certification according to the organizations web site. Two years ago, LaFever was one of 100 teachers nationwide to receive a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation Educator Award for her outstanding work in education.