WINCHESTER,VA - One of the starting points to creating a successful student is having a qualified teacher. Frederick County Public Schools have two new board certified teachers who are making a difference in the classroom.
Carrie Laffoon and Kasandra Price knew they were in for a challenge when they started the journey to become National Board Certified.
"It was kind of a next step since I had gotten my masters degree," says Laffoon, the Department Chair of Business Marketing at Millbrook High School. "That was the next thing to kind of validate what I do in the classroom, to work on ways to improve what I do in the classroom."
Both, having earned their Masters Degrees, say they wanted to push themselves to learn more for their students.
"If I come into a classroom and don't give them challenging things to do, then I'm not doing my job," Laffoon says. "If I challenge myself, I'm also going to challenge my students."
"These students are going out into the work field," says Kasandra Price a business teacher at Millbrook High. "What we're teaching them now, if they don't go on to college, they're going to use to help them get a job."
They started the year-long process of testing and portfolio-building in the summer of 2011. They were required to submit assignments, student work samples, videotapes and analysis of their teaching in the portfolios, as well as pass a six-part exam. They now join the ranks of 15 other board certified teachers in the county.
The No Child Left Behind Act says that every classroom should have a highly-qualified teacher. Getting their national board certifications puts these teachers on a path toward that level of achievement.
"When you're done you can see the huge improvement it's made in your teaching and you just continue to impact other teachers as well," says Price.
They're not only improving education in their own classrooms, but for the county at large. Only 221 teachers became board certified in Virginia last year.