Harrison County National Board Certified Teachers Honored at Dinner; BHS's Santilli Among Honorees

By Trina Runner on May 15, 2017 via

As the school year comes to a close, Harrison County Schools Central Office and Board Members recently celebrated an elite group of teachers who have undergone the rigorous process of becoming National Board Certified Teachers.  On April 25 at the Clarksburg Country Club, the group gathered to honor one new National Board Certified Teacher, five who were renewing their certification, and two who earned their doctoral degree this year. Being recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher is the gold standard in education, marking a commitment to maintaining the highest of standards for the teacher and the students. The process can take up to three years and requires teachers to compile portfolios, prepare for testing, and present evidence to their commitment to student achievement.  Fewer than 5% of teachers nationwide have earned this honor and Harrison County Schools has a dedicated team focused on increasing that percentage locally. 
Elissa Whelchel, National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) Network Chairman, welcomed the crowd for the second annual dinner held in honor of NBCT recipients.  After an invocation by Lola Brown, dinner was served.  Dr. Donna Hage, Harrison County Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Policy, introduced the guests and Melissa Hinerman, 2016 Harrison County Teacher of the Year gave the Keynote presentation.  After Superintendent Mark Manchin congratulated the recipients, he and NBCT Network Dinner Chairperson, Connie Bowers, recognized each NBCT recipient and renewal candidate, as well as those who earned their Doctoral degrees.
Terra Burnett was Harrison County’s newest National Board Certified Teacher, earning it in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood.  She is currently a first grade teacher at Nutter Fort Primary and serves as team leader for the first grade, Faculty Senate Treasurer, is the PDS Coordinator between Nutter Fort Primary and Fairmont State University, and is the facilitator for the school’s Leader in Me Lighthouse Team.
The certification for National Board Certified Teacher lasts for ten years, after which teachers must prove they are continuing to improve their instruction and growing as a teaching professional.  Five Harrison County teachers renewed their NBCT this year and were recognized at the dinner.
Lisa Kerns renewed in Career and Technical Education Early Adolescence Through Young Adulthood.  She currently teaches Family and Consumer Sciences and Computer Skills at Lincoln Middle and serves as the Lincoln Technology Opportunity Center Director.  Her Bachelor’s Degree is from Fairmont State University and earned a Master’s Degree from Salem International University.  Additionally, she has an advanced credential as a Technology Integration Specialist. 
Lincoln Middle School’s eighth grade Science teacher, Rebecca Jones, renewed her NBCT in Science and Early Adolescence.  Her B.A. is from Fairmont State University and her Masters of Arts from Saint Mary University in Kansas.
Kim Pulice currently serves as a Title 1 Teacher at Nutter Fort Primary.  She renewed her NBCT in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood and has been an educator in Harrison County for 24 years.  She and her husband live in Bridgeport.
Also renewing in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood is Stephanie Runion, the Academic Support Teacher for Norwood Elementary.  She works with the National Writing Project at WVU and has facilitated online book studies and worked with the mentoring program for the West Virginia Center for Professional Development. 
Joetta Schneider, Harrison County Instructional Specialist, renewed her NBCT in Adolescent and Young Adult Science-Chemistry this year.  She serves as an adjunct professor at Fairmont State University in Biology, Chemistry, and Earth and Sky Science. 
Earning their Doctoral Degrees this year were Dr. Donna D. Hage and Dr. Jenny Santilli.  Hage renewed her NBCT in English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood and earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Educational Leadership from Marshall University.  Her dissertation focused on teacher identity and voice, professional reflection, and the culture of teaching.  Santilli renewed her NBCT in World Languages Other Than English/Early Adolescence and earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Educational Leadership.  Her dissertation examined how mentors of pre-service teachers perceived the mentoring process and how it impacted them and their students.  Santilli teaches Spanish II, III, and IV at Bridgeport High School and facilitates professional development for Harrison County World Language teachers. She also presents at state and national conferences.

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