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National certification of teachers is a good idea

The fact that the Harrison County Board of Education is considering adopting a proposal to provide teachers with a an annual salary supplement of $4,000 if they become nationally certified is welcome news indeed.

To become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the individual must go through a rigorous process of videotaping classes, doing self-evaluations and written work and then taking the exam, according to Harrison County schools Superintendent Carl Friebel.

The fee for the application to the program is $2,300, which does not include the costs of supplies for printing and the audiovisual materials needed for the certification process.

The state currently offers a $1,000 annual salary supplement for 10 years and up to $600 in expenses for those who complete the certification.

With the county getting on board with the program and providing more monetary incentive, more teachers in Harrison County may elect to become nationally certified.

We certainly hope so. Currently, the state has 23 board certified teachers, but none are from Harrison County. This policy, if approved by the board, may be just the ticket in getting more quality teachers involved in providing instruction to our students.

The proposal the county is considering would additionally provide $500 to help with the initial costs of the application process, reimbursable by the employee should they withdraw from the program prior to completion.

Nationwide the trend is for counties to add a supplement on top of what the state offers, says Emily Hundley, state certification coordinator.

Wood County has done just that, and 17 of the state's 23 teachers who have been nationally certified teach there.

Harrison County, as well as all counties in West Virginia, would do well to follow Wood County's lead on this matter.

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