Arlington teachers become board certified

Board certified teachers - Courtesy photos
Board certified teachers
— image credit: Courtesy photos

ARLINGTON — Six local teachers were among the nearly 9,000 teachers to receive National Board certification in 2009.

Holly Christmas-Harris, Patricia Vaughn and Leona Watson of Haller Middle School, Stephanie Simone and Kari Macneill of Post Middle School and Marilee Schneider of Arlington High School have all received certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards this year, according to school district officials.

Teachers earn their certification through a voluntary assessment program that takes between one and three years to complete.

The Arlington School District currently has 19 National Board certified teachers, said Misti Gilman, Arlington School District spokeswoman.

Christmas-Harris teaches eighth-grade reading, writing, social studies and leadership, while Vaughn is a sixth- and seventh-grade reading and writing teacher.

Watson teaches sixth-grade reading and writing.

At Post, Simone teaches sixth-grade language arts, while Macneill is an eighth-grade language arts instructor.

Schneider is an English teacher at Arlington High School.

The teachers in Arlington were part of 1,248 instructors who received board certification in Washington state during 2009. The state ranked No. 2 behind North Carolina (1,509) in the number of teachers achieving that distinction for the year, according to a Dec. 16 release by the National Board.

Washington state ranks No. 5 in the number of total number of certified teachers with 3,964.

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the 8,900 teachers who received certification in 2009 were “an extraordinary group” that “demonstrated a commitment to taking their teaching practice and the teaching profession to a different level.”

According to the release, certified teachers advance student achievement and learning, stay in the classroom longer, support new and struggling teachers and assume other school leadership roles.

In a Congressional report, the National Research Council stated that those teachers help students receive higher gains in achievement tests than non-certified teachers, the release states.

School districts often provide salary incentives for teachers to become certified.

For more information on the board, visit

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