From left: Tara Martin, Lisa Snow, Jeff LaBelle, and Jessica Rice completed the challenging process of earning National Board Certification. The National Board Certified Teachers teach at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish. Photo Courtesy of Eastside Catholic School.

From left: Tara Martin, Lisa Snow, Jeff LaBelle, and Jessica Rice completed the challenging process of earning National Board Certification. The National Board Certified Teachers teach at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish. Photo Courtesy of Eastside Catholic School.

Redmond’s Rice earns national teacher’s board certification

Eastside Catholic School teachers earn highest mark of achievement.

Eastside Catholic School celebrated four teachers who recently earned their National Board Certification.

This year, the school is one of 182 schools nationwide to have three or more teachers awarded as National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT).

The Catholic school recognized Jessica Rice, Lisa Snow, Tara Martin and Jeff LaBelle.

School president Gil Picciotto stated that these four teachers represent a holistic approach to education.

“A good teacher not only improves a student’s test score,” Picciotto said in a press release, “[a good teacher also] inspires a student’s desire to learn and to be a critical independent thinker within the context of a life of leadership and service to others.”

The certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide, according to the board.

The process to become certified requires teachers to demonstrate standard-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning in alignment with the five core propositions: commitment to students and their learning; knowledge of the subject they teach and how they teach those subjects to students; responsibility for managing and monitoring student learning and the ability think systematically about their practice and learn from experience. Teachers also need to be members of professional learning communities.

Rice, a Redmond resident and English high school teacher, said the process to become certified helped her think deeply about her teaching practice.

“I tried new writing assignments and incorporated more hands-on activities in my classroom as part of the work needed to be certified,” she said in a release. “I also reflected on the best strategies that I have to help my students develop as readers, writers, and thinkers.”

Rice added that teaching brings a lot of meaning to her life.

“I love talking to teenagers about literature and the big ideas we read in literature and helping them think how that applies to their life and [how] it helps them become the people they are becoming,” said Rice.

Teachers commit substantial time and energy to pursue the certification. They have to go above and beyond their typical workload to complete the certification process.

The certification process requires teachers to analyze their teaching context and their students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. Teachers must also submit a reflective analysis that demonstrates a strong command of content and showcases their ability to create appropriate learning experiences that help advance student learning. The certification process typically takes more than a year to complete.

For Rice, pursuing the certification was one way to advance in her career. It was also a way to show her students that you are never done learning and working toward goals, even after high school and college.

The newly certified teachers join nine other Eastside Catholic faculty members who have previously been awarded National Board Certification.

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