SUSD National Board Certified Teachers
As an education leader among Arizona K-12 public school districts, Scottsdale Unified School District is committed to delivering outstanding learning opportunities every day to its 23,000 students. We achieve that by ensuring that there are exceptional leaders in the classrooms of our 30 schools. A growing number of Scottsdale Unified teachers choose, and are encouraged by the District, to augment their state certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
That organization’s National Board Certification program, launched in 1987, was created by teachers for teachers. It is the pinnacle of professional development programs for U.S. classroom teachers and is the most significant way in which the nation’s teaching profession encourages the development, retention and recognition of accomplished teachers, with the goal of creating ongoing improvement in schools nationwide from the inside out. Those who achieve certification status report that going through the up-to-three-year process forever changes the way they think about their profession, profoundly impacting the way they teach students for the rest of their careers.
One of SUSD’s greatest strengths is its 87 National Board Certified teachers. SUSD is a leader among Arizona school districts in the number of teacher who have furthered their passion for teaching into national certification. These exemplary educators, based at 26 SUSD schools, its online learning program and in District instructional leadership, are evidence of our teaching staff’s commitment to accomplished teaching. They dedicate themselves to the ongoing improvement and mastery of their skills in order to provide Scottsdale students with the outstanding educational experiences at all grade levels for which SUSD has been known for 124 years. We know that SUSD students are successful during their years with us, and beyond, because of the District’s ongoing mission to deliver relevant, rigorous, world-class instruction to all of our students and to dedicate of the resources necessary to achieve that.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards issues certificates are issued in 16 content areas, from art, health education and mathematics to language arts, science and music. Certificates are also based on developmental levels, from early and middle childhood to early adolescence and young adulthood.
Certification candidates put a microscope to their teaching practices and reflect on how they demonstrate and implement, in an ongoing way, National Board standards. Candidates for National Board certification are examined, by a panel of local and national peers, in four, key areas:
- competency in the subject area they teach
- how they differentiate their instruction, based on student strengths and needs
- how they engage students in learning and
- how they continuously apply what they learn about their students to adapt their teaching practices to impact student learning growth and deliver excellent, meaningful instruction.
The process of becoming a National Board Certified teacher, the most respected professional certification in K-12 education, is voluntary. Candidates must have at least three years of successful experience teaching in a K-12 school setting. The challenge of taking on national certification while also teaching full-time is a major commitment that can take up to three years to complete. Teachers must renew their National Board certification every five years.
In SUSD, teacher candidates are supported along the way by a cadre of current and retired SUSD teachers who volunteer to mentor their colleagues’ journey to certification. Board-certified teachers themselves, these mentors share their insights and passion for continuous improvement within District classrooms and their profession. Working in conjunction with the Arizona K-12 Center, SUSD teachers receive the peer guidance necessary to complete the certification process successfully. Upon certification, SUSD teachers also receive a $3,000 a year stipend from the District.
SUSD candidates also receive financial assistance from the community as they engage in the certification process. The Scottsdale Unified School District Foundation, a local 501(c)(3) organization that supports SUSD students, teacher, programs and schools, provide grants to teachers. Since 2011, the SUSD Foundation has contributed more than $33,000 to support the National Board Certification efforts of SUSD educators.
During the current school year, six SUSD teachers achieved National Board Certification and six other teachers successfully renewed their certifications.
Sarah Wagner Boustila
Copper Ridge K-8
Joseph Olney, Assistant Principal
Desert Canyon Elementary
Nancy Cavenaugh Laak
Desert Canyon Middle
Desert Mountain High
(shared with Navajo, Pima & Pueblo)
Bert te Velde
(shared with Hohokam/Yavapai, Pima & Pueblo)
(shared with Hohokam/Yavapai, Navajo & Pueblo)
(shared with Hohokam/Yavapai, Navajo & Pima)
SUSD District Office
Diane Murphy, Teaching and Learning
* These teachers' certifications have been renewed for 2021
** These are first-time certifications in 2021