Educator Development and Equity

National Board Certification

Published: 12/6/2022 8:16 AM

What is National Board Certification?

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was established in 1987 as the teaching profession’s vehicle for defining and recognizing accomplished teaching. National Board Certification, which is built upon National Board Standards and the National Board’s Five Core Propositions, is the profession’s mark of accomplished teaching. To date, more than 112,000 teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have achieved National Board Certification.  

Are you interested in becoming a National Board Certified Teacher? Watch this video​ to see if you are eligible! ​

National Board Certified Teachers in Kentucky

Kentucky recognized 85 teachers newly certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) during a Feb. 10 virtual ceremony.

According to Peggy Brookins, NBPTS president and chief executive officer, Kentucky had the eighth-largest class of newly certified National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) nationally. These educators join more than 4,100 teachers across the state who have gone through this highly reflective and transformative professional development, with nearly 1,400 of their colleagues currently pursuing certification.

“Not only do these teachers love their job, they are really, really good at it.  They are truly and wholly committed to their students.” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “This is a highly transformative process in professional development. And let me tell you how difficult it is.  It is long, it is intense and it is time-consuming. And  - it is voluntary. They don’t have to do it, they want to do it. At the end of the day, their certification provides a direct benefit to students in the classroom.”

“On behalf of all of us at the Kentucky Department of Education, and the state Board of Education, we are so proud of you. And we are honored to highlight the work and sacrifices you made to get to this day.”

With the help of Glass, Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Brookins praised the Commonwealth for establishing a “landscape in Kentucky that values accomplished teaching.”

“In the 2020-21 school year, the Commonwealth had more new National Board Certified Teachers than 41 other states.” She also challenged the honorees to “seize this opportunity to use your expertise, to serve as teacher leaders, to represent the profession, and to serve as change agents.”

During the ceremony, Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation designating Feb. 10 as National Board Certified Teacher Day in Kentucky.   

Under normal circumstances, Gov. Beshear also would have presented each of the newly certified teachers with an official pin from NBPTS.  While recognizing that the process of getting National Board certification is not easy, Gov. Beshear thanked all the honorees:

“We need more teachers like you! As a dad to two young kids, we are truly grateful for all you do.  You are the future of our educational system and the future of molding the great leaders of tomorrow for this Commonwealth.”

Lt. Gov. Coleman, who also is an educator, acknowledged how difficult the past two years have been for teachers. 

“You are the best of the best!  Your job is more critical than it has ever been.  The future of Kentucky’s economy is in your classrooms today, and because of you, I know that this future is bright.” she said.

Also speaking during the virtual ceremony were Kentucky Board of Education member Holly Bloodworth, Kentucky NBCT Network President Sarah Yost, Kentucky NBCT Network Board Member Marcus Blackeney, Kentucky Education Association President Eddie Campbell, all National Board-certified teachers themselves, as well as Brigitte Blom, president and CEO of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and Audrey Gilbert, a junior at Frankfort High School and a member of the Kentucky Student Voice Team and a 2021-22 Educators Rising National Student Ambassador.

The Feb. 10 virtual ceremony was hosted by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky NBCT Network and can be viewed on the KDE Media Portal


​​View the slideshow below to see the names of the teachers who earned Maintenance of Certification or a new National Board Certification. 


Why become ​National Board Certified?

"Recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students” (NBPTS webpage). Research shows that the students ​​of Board-certified teachers learn more than students in other classrooms, which is why many states and districts, including Kentucky, offer incentives for teachers to pursue Board certification. Furthermore, the Kentucky General Assembly found that: 
  • Student achievement is directly related to a teacher’s ability to nurture learning
  • All students are entitled to have teachers who know the subjects they teach and who demonstrate skill to manage and monitor student learning
  • Teachers need support and opportunity to develop higher-level skills throughout their careers
  • National Board certification is based upon high and rigorous standards and provides a process of development and assessment of teachers’ knowledge, skill and ability
  • And that teachers who successfully meet National Board certification requirements strengthen the teaching profession by mentoring new teachers, serving as role models and master teachers for teacher candidates, and assisting other teachers who seek National Board certification.


National Board logo

Legislative Update Regarding National Board Certification and Rank Change​

Senate Bill 174 signed by Governor Andy Beshear on April 24, 2020, amends KRS 161.1211 to allow National Board certification to qualify a teacher for Rank II status and updates the Rank I requirements to reflect this change. Teachers who are currently Rank III and have obtained National Board certification may submit an application for rank change using their EPSB account to obtain Rank II status, in addition to those seeking to change from Rank II to Rank I.

General Resources

Jocelyne Waddle
Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness
Division of Educator Recruitment and Development
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-1479 Ext. 4540
Fax (502) 564-4007

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