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15 ISD educators earn one of the profession’s highest honors

Congratulations to the newly National Board Certified teachers

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

About National Board Certification

  • Are you a teacher interested in National Board Certification? The Issaquah Schools Foundation and Issaquah School District awards grants of $1,500 to $3,000 to support District teachers who apply for NBC. Teachers can learn more about the Issaquah School District’s Certification support system on the Intranet. 
  • The Issaquah School District will celebrate and honor all of its National Board Certified teachers with a community reception. Stay tuned for more details.

About our newest National Board Certified teachers

After hundreds of hours of deep self-evaluation and assessment, 15 more teachers in the Issaquah School District have earned the prestigious National Board Certification (NBC).

“Hooray for our new National Board Certified teachers!” said superintendent Steve Rasmussen. “Through this rigorous process, they have proven themselves to be among the best teachers in the U.S. We are proud to have them in Issaquah schools, where our students are the beneficiaries of their talent and dedication.”

NBC is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize great teachers—and make them better. While state licensing systems establish a baseline of requirements for teachers, NBC teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills, and practices. NBC is the only credential process that compares a teacher’s knowledge and skills with a national set of professional standards. The process requires teachers to reflect on how they form and deliver lessons and demonstrate leadership in their schools and communities.

The application process is intense. NBC candidates average about 400 hours throughout the school year putting together a two-part submission package that includes: 1. A portfolio with a lesson plans, student work samples, and a videotape of live classroom teaching, all of which demonstrates the teacher’s impact on student learning; and 2. A written assessment that shows the teacher’s mastery of subject-area knowledge, classroom practices, and curriculum design. A national panel of teachers either approves the submission or returns it to the applicant for further development.

The Issaquah School District’s 2012 National Board Certified teachers are:


  • Kathleen Blanding, Second Grade, Creekside Elementary School
  • Steven Boynton, Fourth Grade, Issaquah Valley Elementary School
  • Cathy Daniels, Humanities, Beaver Lake Middle School
  • Kyle Duggan, Math, Skyline High School
  • Alicia Favreau, Special Education, Challenger Elementary School
  • Megan Graff, Second Grade, Creekside Elementary School
  • Tom Haff, Science, Issaquah High School
  • Jennet Liljenquist, Third Grade, Briarwood Elementary School
  • Kate McConnell, Fifth Grade, Sunny Hills Elementary School
  • Colin McCormick, Social Studies, Skyline High School
  • Susan Moffett, Third Grade, Issaquah Valley Elementary School
  • April O’Halloran, Fifth Grade, Creekside Elementary School
  • Kathryn Plakinger, Fifth Grade, Discovery Elementary School
  • Cheryl Reed, Health/Sports Medicine, Skyline High School
  • Paige St. Pierre, French, Skyline High School

This group brings the District’s total number of NBC teachers to 122.

Nationwide, Washington state ranks fourth for total number of NBC teachers (6,817) and second for the largest number of newly Certified teachers in 2012 (575) among all states.

“I’ve been a strong supporter of the National Board program for years now,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “All the certified teachers I’ve talked to said that the process was great. It made them look deeply into their teaching habits. Many of them became better teachers. And that results in better students.”

Locally, the Issaquah Schools Foundation and the Issaquah School District support NBC candidates by awarding grants of $1,500 to $3,000.

A Congressionally-mandated report by the National Research Council in 2007 affirmed the positive impact Board certification has on student achievement and teacher retention. Recognizing its value, the state Legislature enacted a $5,000 bonus for Washington teachers who complete the process.

More information is online at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website.

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