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Teacher certifications recognized by Dist. U-46

By Seth Hancock
  Several education-related recognitions have taken place at the national, state and local levels in recent weeks.
  At the national and state levels, National School Choice Week (NSCW) was celebrated the week of Jan. 26 through Feb. 1. According to NSCW’s website, schoolchoiceweek.com, there were nearly 1,700 events celebrating the week in Illinois.
  “During NSCW, schools, homeschool groups, organizations and individuals plan tens of thousands of independent events,” the NSCW website states. “These celebratory events raise public awareness of the different K-12 education options available to children and families while also spotlighting the benefits of school choice…. NSCW recognizes all K-12 options, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling.”
  Locally, School District U-46 recognized National School Counseling Week (Feb. 3 through Feb. 7) as well as teachers who have either earned or renewed their National Board Certifications. Both were recognized at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Jan. 27.
  The school counseling week is sponsored by the American School Counselor Association.
  “We’re really happy to serve our family and community members and represent you and make sure that we’re preparing our students for life after high school and what that brings them,” said Alexa Charsha, U-46’s lead counselor.
  One teacher was recognized for earning National Board Certification and five others for renewing their certifications. The certification is overseen by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and takes up to three years for a teacher to go through the process according to a U-46 press release.
  Bartlett High School social studies teacher Michael Bartos earned the certification in the area of social studies history/adolescence and young adulthood.
  “Going through certification affirmed my abilities and dedication as a teacher,” Bartos said for the release. “I strongly recommend for teachers to go through certification. It may seem like a drawn-out process, but in the end it’s worth it.”
  Otilia Garcia (second grade teacher at Streamwood’s Oakhill Elementary School), Trenie Gorak (instructional coach at South Elgin’s Fox Meadow Elementary School), Julie Isham (first grade teacher at South Elgin’s Willard Elementary School), Rebecca Narofski (music instructor at both Bartlett’s Hawk Hollow and Hoffman Estate’s Lincoln elementary schools) and Ryan Sims (social studies teacher at Streamwood High School) all renewed their certification.
  Bartos, at the board meeting, described the certification process: “The main idea for the national board is to show recognition for the teacher’s understanding of his content of his field. Also, to consider some of the various methodologies and also to encourage the teacher to self-reflect in terms of making sure that he is evaluating his students in a way that makes him a better teacher but also makes sure his students also are improving as well.”
  Gorak added: “For the renewal, it’s just a continuation of that process. You continue to reflect and teach and reflect and teach.”




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