CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There’s a new class of National Board Certification teachers in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Board of Education and the Department of Education (WVDE) honored 46 newly certified National Board Certification teachers (NBCTs) from 20 different West Virginia counties at the state Culture Center in Charleston Wednesday. There are also 88 teachers who maintained their certification in the class of 2023.

“National Board Certified Teachers exemplify the ideas of continuous learning and development in the profession,” said Michele L Blatt, State Superintendent of Schools. “Their dedication to education and their students provide credence to academic achievement.”

Melinda Monks from Kanawha County

The lone honoree from Kanawha County this year is Melinda Monks. She has been a special education teacher for about 12 years. For 10 of those years, she taught in intellectual disabilities at Bridgeview Elementary before switching over to Montrose Elementary and doing resource support. Monks said it was vigorous process to get certified but well worth the time and effort.

“National Board Certification is the top of the top for educators,” she said. “It means you’ve gone the extra mile with your professional development to become the best teacher you can and you get recognized for that.”

Reaching nationally board certified status is a process that could take as long as three years to complete. The wait time for applicants to hear if they’ve become certified could take another nine months. The credential is voluntary, but does present an opportunity to become more advanced in teaching.

Becoming board certified was important for Monks because of how much she cares about the students in her classroom and allowing them to get the proper education that they deserve.

“I love my position because I really believe in the kids of West Virginia and I think they need increased support to really be successful,” said Monks.

Superintendent of Cabell County Schools Dr. Ryan Saxe said becoming board certified is an important achievement and there are so many who have done that in his county and in the state.

“We’re blessed to have so many nationally board certified teachers right here in West Virginia teaching our students,” Saxe said.

Dr. Ryan Saxe

According to Saxe, there are close to 60 national board certified teachers in Cabell County. There are a total of 1,218 NBCTs in West Virginia. The state ranks 14th in the country for the percentage of NBCTs and 17th for the number of newly certified teachers.

“What it does to enrich the opportunities for our students because of the skills that these teachers have is something we are truly blesses by,” said Saxe.

The state incentives teachers who reach this certification. Nationally board certified teachers are also given an annual $3,500 salary supplement provided by the WVDE. Most counties, including Cabell County, may match that contribution from the state or support NBCTs with bonuses.

“These educators are walking away over the next five years with a very significant supplement to their income,” Saxe said.

The WVDE provides mentors to assist those pursuing the NBC and also reimburses the fees that are associated with the application process.