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Teachers honored for earning national board certification

Wallins primary teacher Amy Cottrell and Rosspoint primary teacher Rachel Yost were honored during the Harlan County Board of Education meeting on Thursday. Both Cottrell and Yost were able to obtained their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification.

“They have obtained the highest certification you can have in our profession,” said Harlan County Schools Superintendent Brent Roark. “Mrs. Cottrell and Mrs. Yost are in a very elite group and we are pleased to be able to honor their accomplishments.”

Roark said only 3 percent of teachers are able to obtain the certification they received, which now gives the Harlan County School District a total of five teachers with the certification, including Tami Brock, Harlan County High School; Chamayne Johnson, Wallins Elementary School and the central office administrative offices; and Kristin Lester, Black Mountain Elementary School.

According to the National Board website (nbpts.org), as of 2018, Kentucky ranked eighth nationwide with 3,795 national board certified teachers (NBCT).

The two teachers also completed a two-week STEAM curriculum through Project Lead the Way. The Harlan County School District, SOAR – Shaping Our Appalachian Region – and Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives all collaborated to make their participation possible.

“SOAR-STEM is a bold, unique initiative to develop the world’s largest workforce trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and is centered in Kentucky,” said Rodney Hitch, director of Economic Development for Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

In addition to their degrees and certifications, each graduate received a laptop, presented by Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives; an iPad and VEX Robotics Kit from the Toyota Foundation, Appalachian Research Commission and Kentucky Department for Local Government.

Cottrell’s certification is listed as Literacy: Reading/Language Arts; Early/Middle Childhood. Yost’s certification is Early Childhood/Generalist. Both teachers also attended Morehead State University to complete a three-year program to earn a Teacher-Leader master’s degree.

The board also motioned to:

• approve the minutes of the last regular meeting held on Aug. 15;

• approve the consent agenda, including various school trips, leave of absence for teacher (maternity), Gear Up memorandum of agreement with Berea College, monthly financial report, shortened days for special needs students, disaster days request for Cumberland Elementary School, etc.;

• approve the 2019-20 working budget.