PVSchools is proud to announce that Denise Spenik of Fireside Elementary School is one of the newest National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in Arizona. National Board Certification is the highest certificate an educator can achieve in the United States.

Administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Board certification is a rigorous and reflective process that requires teachers to showcase the National Board Standards in their practice. Teachers often take up to three years of continual work to achieve certification. Research shows that students of NBCTs have improved learning outcomes.

“Personally, it was a goal at this point in my career after sending both of my children off to college to challenge myself on accomplishing national certification and work with the standards required of this level of certification,” Spenik says. “Professionally, working toward national certification by delving into the four components using my art curriculum and projects helped me grow to a new level as a teacher. Incorporating the five propositions opened my eyes to my role as a teacher with analyzing my lessons and self-reflection of myself, as well as with my students, and with the parents and community. It goes beyond meaningful lesson planning and I constantly ask myself why and how does it help each child with what I teach in art.”

This is Spenik’s eleventh year teaching art in PVSchools and her fifteenth year as an educator.

“I am grateful the PV district supports the NCBT program and its teachers and provides monthly support meetings with a great group of accomplished NCBT mentors,” she adds.

Since 1996, teachers throughout Arizona have been seeking and achieving National Board Certification. The Arizona K12 Center provides support and resources for teachers to pursue National Board Certification.

This year, 48 Arizona teachers achieved certification. Altogether, Arizona is home to 1,576 NBCTs with 660 teachers currently pursuing National Board Certification. According to the National Board, there are 127,781 NBCTs across the U.S.