Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- December 06, 2002

CSU Bakersfield and Kern County Teacher Collaboration Recognized

A collaborative effort between the California State University, Bakersfield and Kern County Superintendent of Schools to promote teacher excellence paid off this week as five Kern County teachers received National Board certification - a monumental task according to Mahmoud Suleiman, CSUB director of elementary education.

The five teachers are Joanne Carillo, Richland School District; Cheryl Cook, Rosedale Union School District; Craig Morley, Kern High School District; Sammie Novack, Bakersfield City School District; and Kerry Wallace, Delano Elementary School District. Carrillo, Cook, Morley and Novack are CSUB alumni.

In California, all teachers are required to obtain California credentials, but Suleiman believes that National Board certification is yet another way to raise the level of excellence in teaching.

"There has been a national trend to recruit the best and brightest teachers to improve the educational environment in the classrooms," Suleiman said. "National Board certification is a key element in doing this. The more nationally certified teachers we have in Kern County, the better off our children will be."

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is the governing agency of the certification process. According to the NBPTS, National Board certification is a standard-driven process of teacher licensure that encompasses a system of professional performance-based assessments to optimize learning and teaching outcomes in schools. After completing a rigorous development process, teachers are required to complete an examination with results disseminated around Thanksgiving.

To facilitate the arduous process, Suleiman, along with Penny Swenson, CSUB coordinator of curriculum and instruction, and Chris Doyle, KCSOS director of learning technology, developed a local National Board Advisory Committee to recruit National Board certification candidates and guide them through the process.

In its first year, the committee recruited 12 Kern County teachers, who began preparing for certification in the fall of 2001. All 12 members of the cohort applied for certification but only five received it. Nationwide, 50,000 teachers applied for certification. Prior to this initiative, only three Kern County teachers held National Board Certification. The second-year cohort began this fall with 26 teachers participating.

"This is a wonderful benefit to Kern County," Chris Doyle said. "National Board certification is a daunting task and this is a fantastic achievement for all of us involved but especially for those who received their certification."

Doyle added, "The National Board certification process gives teachers a chance to reassess what they do, learn from other teachers and improve their competency as teachers. All 12 of these teachers have gained from this process because these things happen whether they receive the certification or not."

CSUB's School of Education is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Its faculty and staff are continually working on new ways to meet the growing need for teachers and improve the quality of education in Kern County. For information about this or other education programs at CSUB, please contact Mahmoud Suleiman at (661) 664-3032 or visit the CSUB Web site at

CONTACT: Becky Zelinski, 661/664-2138,
or Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456,

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