January 2012 Issue
December 22, 2011

Record number of teachers earn highest credential

Author: Clarisse Butler Banks
Source: NYSUT United

Melanie Addai was among the five
Syracuse Teachers Association
members who earned National
Board Certification.
Photo by Steve Jacobs.

Some might call it a bumper crop, others a cornucopia of sorts. Either way, New York schools and students are on the receiving end of a wealth of knowledge, talent and experience. The largest class ever of New York educators has achieved National Board Certification, the profession's highest standard. With 165 teachers earning the credential this year, the Class of 2011 represents a nearly 30 percent increase over last year's record-breaking cohort.

"NYSUT congratulates this year's cohort for attaining the 'gold standard.' They have demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira, who is a member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which oversees National Board Certification.

To date, 1,302 New York teachers have attained the credential.

Developed for teachers by teachers, National Board Certification is offered for 25 subject areas and various grade levels. The credential is awarded to educators who typically spend 200 to 400 hours having their teaching measured against high and rigorous standards through a series of performance-based assessments. These assessments include teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and a thorough analysis of the candidates's teaching and students' learning. This year marks NBPTS' 25th anniversary.

Historically, districts with contract language that includes incentives for completing the rigorous process see the most new NBCTs. This year is no exception. Making a consecutive appearance in the top four districts this year are New York City, Wappingers and Arlington. Rounding out the list is Half Hollow Hills. More than 200 districts now offer incentives.

NYSUT continues to offer support to candidates undergoing the process as well as educators who are thinking about taking the plunge. In 2008, NYSUT helped establish the National Board Council of New York Network. Through the efforts of the network, NYSUT, teacher centers, the State Education Department and the NBPTS, the number of NBCT's has increased by almost 14 percent.

At a time when national and state education policymakers are searching for ways to improve teacher effectiveness, NYSUT continues to promote National Board Certification as a proven program to boost teaching and learning.

"Numerous studies have shown that the practice of NBCTs has a measurable positive impact on student learning, engagement and achievement — especially for low-income, ethnically diverse and special needs students," said Neira.

Our new NBCTs

Albany Public School TA
Sally Bruce, Generalist
Marsha Strosberg, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Arlington TA
Sheri Altieri, Art
Amanda Buhler, Art
Michelle Burk, Generalist
Mia Chong, Music
David Gatta, Physical Education
Bonnie Leitheuser, Career and Technical Education
Christopher Lucia, Physical Education
Melissa Pastor, Exceptional Needs Specialist
Ryan Sonne, Physical Education

Auburn TA
John Ferrara, Social Studies – History
Mary Moulton, Generalist

Bethlehem TA
Lizette Liebold, World Languages Other than English
Brighton TA
Colleen Hall, English Language Arts

Canandaigua TA
Donna Klick, English Language Arts
Deborah Sutherland, English Language Arts

Carmel TA
Gail Gold-Berger, Exceptional Needs Specialist

Chittenango TA
Dale Devendorf, Art
Colleen Hyland, Social Studies – History

Cornwall TA
Christina Panio, Science
East Ramapo TA
Rachel Katz, Science

Fairport EA
Dianna Kirsch, Science
Nathaniel Ruder, Science

Fayetteville-Manlius TA
Paul Muench, Social Studies – History
Mary Anne Silvernail, Social Studies – History
Todd Sorensen, Social Studies – History

Fonda-Fultonville TA
Deana Lenz, School Counseling

Granville TA
Bonnie Gray, World Languages Other than English
Willard Hardin III, Math

Greece TA
Delaina Grasso-Infantino, Exceptional Needs Specialist
Nancy Kehoe, Exceptional Needs Specialist

Greenville FA
Erin O'Connor-Dubois, School Counseling
Robin Parvis, Generalist
Karen Rosenberg, Generalist

Half Hollow Hills TA
Nicole Baggio, Generalist
Sarah Baptiste, Generalist
Cynthia Cullen, Social Studies – History
Jamie Diodato, Art
Jennifer Ievolo, Art
Maria Lennon, English Language Arts
Geraldine Sundermier, Science
Nazanene Yaqubie, Generalist

Hendrick Hudson EA
Ron Bugara, Science

Holland TA
Rebecca Roudebush, Music
Honeoye Falls-Lima EA
Jacquelyn Davern, Math
Scott Krebbeks, Science
Lisa Pratt, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Hunter-Tannersville TA
John Fletcher, Generalist

Ichabod Crane TA
Laura Cannamela, Art

Jamesville-DeWitt FA
Charles Clinton, Math
David Nylen, Math

Kenmore TA
Penelope Depasquale, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Kingston TF
Karen Knowlton, Math
Deborah Zale, Health

Lake George EA
Anthony Cocca, Math
Tammy Darby, Science

Malverne TA
Janis Romanoff, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Manhasset EA
Sarah Duke, Music

Marcellus FA
Joanne Lewandowski, Exceptional Needs Specialist

Marcus Whitman TA
Erica Leach, Exceptional Needs Specialist
Lisa Orlando, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Massapequa FT
Janice Kincaid, World Languages Other than English

New Paltz UT
Robin Taliaferro, Generalist

New York City – UFT
Maureen Anderson, Generalist
Marcus Artigliere, English as a New Language
Sharon Bricker, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Ericka Crooms-Lyncook, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Laura DeWitt, English Language Arts
Joanna Drusin, English Language Arts
Jana Ford, Math
Melissa Franzella, Generalist
Denise Getchius-Staines, Generalist
Mitchel Goodkin, Science
Autumn Gordon, Social Studies – History
Rachel Hudelson, Math
Lauren Inzelbuch, Math
Alyna Jacobs, Generalist
Jesse Lord Johnson, English Language Arts
Megan Jonynas, Music
William Lamonte, Science
Crystal Marsh, Science
Theresa McKee, Generalist
Jennifer Onopa, English Language Arts
Michael Potwardski, English Language Arts
Gary Proulx, Generalist
Calporna Savary, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Belinda Schwach, English Language Arts
Crystal Thiele, Generalist
Michalina Trucker, Music
Marsha Wallace, Science
Cheryl Weiss, Generalist
Kathryn Wierzbowski, Math
Wandiza Williams, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Newburgh TA
Judith Cooper, Science

Newcomb TA
Julie Slayback, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Niskayuna TA
Mary Burke, Generalist
Shana Derocco, Math
Julie Hallenbeck, Generalist
Daniel Mattoon, Math
Kevin McFerran, School Counseling
Tracey Newell, Social Studies – History

North Colonie TA
Janet Parmalee, Library Media

North Syracuse EA
Kathleen Spitzer, Library Media

Oceanside FT
Stephanie Gallucci, Music
Marla Kilfoyle, Social Studies – History
Rocio Saborido, Math

Ossining TA
Kimberly Cecchini, Generalist
Robert Rendo, English as a New Language

Palmyra-Macedon FA
Christine Bennett, English Language Arts
Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES
Deborah Ashley, Science
Michelle Gonzalez, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Rochester TA
Daniel Delehanty, Social Studies – History
Alexander Johnson, Generalist

Rush-Henrietta EA
Michele Pelton-Fall, English Language Arts

Schalmont TA
Mary Shands-O'Donnell, Library Media

Schenectady FT
Jamie Daus, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Christine Simeone, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Shenendehowa TA
Katrina Horton, English Language Arts
Janet Tangirala, World Languages Other than English

Smithtown TA
Kim Gilbert, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

Sodus FA
Katherine McCarthy, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts

South Colonie TA
James Duffy, Math

Syracuse TA
Melanie Addai, Generalist
Cynthia Cronin, World Languages Other than English
Jesse Goodglass, Generalist
Stacy Griffin, Art
Sharon Pernisi, Math

Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES Teachers
Laura Havill, Exceptional Needs Specialist

Utica TA
Karrie Kehoe, English Language Arts
Ledia Mullen, Social Studies – History

Valley Central TA
Amy Van Zanten, Generalist

Wappingers CT
Anne Bogen, School Counseling
Michele Bresnahan, Generalist
Nicole Caruso, English Language Arts
Rena Finsmith, Exceptional Needs Specialist
Elisa Kondor, World Languages Other than English
Lisa Rutigliano, Math
Patricia Seablom, Generalist
Anne Seymour, Physical Education
Jennifer Taylor, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Christine Zandstra, English Language Arts

Watervliet TA
Michaeleen Backus, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Todd Birmingham, Exceptional Needs Specialist
Megan Cahill, English Language Arts

West Irondequoit TA
Joseph Pelliccia, Math

Williamsville TA, Inc.
Colleen Glahe, English as a New Language
Kenneth Huff, Science

Jacobe Bell, English Language Arts
Jonelle Carter, Exceptional Needs Specialist
Katharine Cebulski, English Language Arts
Corey Chapman, English Language Arts
Nancy Currier, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Karrie Davis, School Counseling
Deeanna Gunderson, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Frances Havard, English Language Arts
Tanya Jenkins, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Lisa Livingston, World Languages Other than English
Kim McLeveighn, Generalist
Marcy Mickelson, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Megan Mostransky, Social Studies – History
Marika Paez, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Alexandra Schmidt, Math
Linda Shekita, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts
Miles Watts, Generalist

Increase in Teachers Achieving National Board Certification*

Number in 2010-2011

% Increase

Total Number Certified









* Data reflects teachers' place of employment as self-reported in the NBPTS database. For more information on state data, contact Rita Pin Ahrens at rpahrens@nbpts.org.