Educator Development and Equity

National Board Certification

Published: 3/13/2023 8:58 AM

What is National Board Certification?

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was established in 1987 as the teaching profession’s vehicle for defining and recognizing accomplished teaching. National Board Certification, which is built upon National Board Standards and the National Board’s Five Core Propositions, is the profession’s mark of accomplished teaching. To date, more than 112,000 teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have achieved National Board Certification.  

Are you interested in becoming a National Board Certified Teacher? Watch this video​ to see if you are eligible! ​

National Board Certified Teachers in Kentucky

Kentucky recognized 104 teachers newly certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) during a Feb. 9 virtual ceremony.

Kentucky has the ninth-largest class of newly certified National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) nationally, said Peggy Brookins, NBPTS president and chief executive officer. These educators join more than 4,283 teachers across the state who have gone through this highly reflective and transformative professional development, with nearly 1,400 of their colleagues currently pursuing certification.

Kentucky ranks sixth based on the total number of NBCTs as a percent of the 2021-2022 teacher workforce in each state. 

“Kentucky has long been a national leader in the number of our teachers earning their National Board certification," said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “This process is rigorous, it's intense, it's challenging and it's time-consuming, but it's also rewarding and provides a direct benefit to our students. The fact that so many of our educators have chosen to go through this process is proof enough that our Commonwealth has exemplary education professionals.

“On behalf of all of us at the Kentucky Department of Education and the state Board of Education, congratulations to the newly certified NBCTs. Today we honor the work and sacrifices that were made to get to this day."

During the ceremony, Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation designating Feb. 9 as National Board Certified Teacher Day in Kentucky. 

“Education is central to how we build the better Kentucky we all want. Every day, you welcome our children into your classrooms and help them develop a love of learning," Beshear said. "You are a crucial part of shaping them into who they are going to be. And you also the leaders building our brighter future.

"Your commitment to Kentucky children and families has been nothing short of heroic. This is a great personal achievement for you as educators and for your careers, but it's much more than that. It shows your deep commitment to your calling and to your students, Kentucky's children."   

The road to obtaining National Board certification is challenging. The process requires nearly 400 hours of time and effort to achieve. Educators must submit a detailed portfolio that includes examples of student work, an outline of what teachers have done outside of the classroom to improve student achievement and video recordings that show how they teach and interact with students. In addition, they must submit a reflective piece on student assessment and learning and then take a rigorous exam to demonstrate they have mastered the content of their chosen certification area.

National Board certification is voluntary and open to all teachers who have at least three years of classroom experience and a teaching license. Certification is available in 25 certificate areas, from preschool through 12th grade.

Kentucky has strong statewide support for National Board certification. NBCTs are entitled to an annual $2,000 salary bonus for the life of their certificate.

Upon successful completion of National Board certification, Kentucky teachers currently holding a Rank II certificate are eligible to apply for Rank I status, and those currently holding a Rank III certificate are eligible to apply for Rank II.

Also speaking during the virtual ceremony were Kentucky NBCT Network President Jana Bryant, Kentucky NBCT Network Vice President Lisa Hanson, Kentucky Education Association President Eddie Campbell, who are all National Board-certified teachers themselves, as well as Ashley Lamb-Sinclair, NBCT, and Chaka Cummings.

The Kentucky National Board Network “strives to ensure that all teachers in Kentucky continue to grow and demonstrate accomplished teaching practice for every student," said Bryant.

For more information about National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and KY NBCT guidelines for certification, visit the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards webpage and the KDE National Board Certification webpage.

The Feb. 9 virtual ceremony was hosted by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky NBCT Network. ​


​​View the slideshow below to see the names of the teachers who earned Maintenance of Certification or a new National Board Certification. 


Why become ​National Board Certified?

"Recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students” (NBPTS webpage). Research shows that the students ​​of Board-certified teachers learn more than students in other classrooms, which is why many states and districts, including Kentucky, offer incentives for teachers to pursue Board certification. Furthermore, the Kentucky General Assembly found that: 
  • Student achievement is directly related to a teacher’s ability to nurture learning
  • All students are entitled to have teachers who know the subjects they teach and who demonstrate skill to manage and monitor student learning
  • Teachers need support and opportunity to develop higher-level skills throughout their careers
  • National Board certification is based upon high and rigorous standards and provides a process of development and assessment of teachers’ knowledge, skill and ability
  • And that teachers who successfully meet National Board certification requirements strengthen the teaching profession by mentoring new teachers, serving as role models and master teachers for teacher candidates, and assisting other teachers who seek National Board certification.


National Board logo

Legislative Update Regarding National Board Certification and Rank Change​

Senate Bill 174 signed by Governor Andy Beshear on April 24, 2020, amends KRS 161.1211 to allow National Board certification to qualify a teacher for Rank II status and updates the Rank I requirements to reflect this change. Teachers who are currently Rank III and have obtained National Board certification may submit an application for rank change using their EPSB account to obtain Rank II status, in addition to those seeking to change from Rank II to Rank I.

General Resources

Jocelyne Waddle
Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness
Division of Educator Recruitment and Development
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-1479 Ext. 4540
Fax (502) 564-4007

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