Middle Park teacher earns national recognition | SkyHiNews.com

Middle Park teacher earns national recognition

East Grand Middle School teacher Jim Karas speaks at the school board meeting last week as he was recognized for earning National Board Certification, a rigorous two-year process that certifies he meets the highest teaching standards.

An East Grand Middle School teacher has just met the nation’s highest standards in teaching by earning his National Board Certification.

Jim Karas, a sixth grade teacher at the middle school in Granby, has been awarded this prestigious honor. It was given to him by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

The announcement was made at last Tuesday’s East Grand Board of Education meeting, where board President Tom Sifers commended Karas’ achievement.

Superintendent Robb Rankin said the selection process that Karas had to go through has made him “an even better teacher.”

Karas, who has been a teacher for 26 years, described his selection for the certification as a challenging two-year process. It involved hundreds of hours of work, testing and self-evaluation.

“It was self-enlightening,” he said. “It’s made a huge change in my teaching.”

National Board Certification is described as “a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers ” and make them better.”

States license teachers for their basic requirements, but the NBPTS certifies those teachers who have successfully advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.

The certification process typically takes one to three years with a significant percentage of teachers not making the grade. As part of the process, each teacher must build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments and videotapes to analyze their classroom teaching techniques.

The teachers are also tested on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

Roy E. Barnes, former Georgia governor and chairman of the NBPTS Board of Directors, commended Karas for his selection in a prepared release.

“Teachers like Jim Karas are leading the way in preparing America’s diverse student population with the skills it needs to compete in the 21st Century,” Barnes said.

“National Board Certification is part of a growing national movement that advances education reform. It’s a movement that improves teaching, advances student learning and makes schools better.”

More than 60,000 teachers in the country have demonstrated that they meet the highest teaching standards by becoming National Board certified over the past 20 years.

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