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Businesses support teacher certification

The Elkins business community contributed generously to Kump Education Center in support of National Board Certification for local teachers.

One of the 2020 objectives for the (KEC) Neighborhood Investment Project was to help local teachers work to increase their knowledge and hone their skills in pedagogy in order to earn National Board Certification (NBCT).

Vibrant Communities always recognize that education is essential for building a strong economy. Elkins is and has been a town where public-spirited businesses support public education.

All three local banks contributed funding to support our local NBC teachers.Thank you to Richard Harvey at Mountain Valley Bank, Nathaniel Bonnell at Citizens Bank of WV, and Hugh Hitchcock at Davis Trust Company. Allegheny Insurance gave generously to support NBCT teachers thanks to Jay Wallace and Kenny George. Although Steve and Jean Jory are retired, she was a teacher and he a lawyer here in Elkins, and they donated to our KEC mission to enhance teacher excellence.

It is one thing to support education in general, but the donors listed above recognize the value of excellence in teaching most particularly. National Board Certification for Teachers is a rigorous process, and many teachers find it daunting.

When we met with teachers last August, we had 14 names on the list of interested NBCT candidates. Now only two teachers are still working with us on their NBCT. Both teach at Elkins High School. Andrew Carroll and Janet Shiflett are the two intrepid teachers who are willing to try NBCT during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These young teachers will take a computerized test evaluating their knowledge of subjects they teach and research in pedagogy. They will have to video their classroom for hours on end and produce a written analysis to demonstrate their skills with student interaction.

With the pandemic limiting the hours students will be in class, this video requirement may be unusually difficult, but if our NBCT candidates can focus on this facet of their program, they may be able to identify the most significant advantages and disadvantages of online teaching. They may also be able to pinpoint some of the teaching methods that work best in hybrid online and in-person teaching situation. This time of change will require that teachers become more alert, and these young teachers are taking on an unusual challenge.

Kump Education Center is using the funds provided by the local business community to buy a swivel camera for Elkins High School that will make the classroom video process easier for NBCT candidates. They both have been given $250 to help them buy books and study guides to prepare for their objective test and the Effective and Reflective Practitioner essay component of the program.

When COVID-19 is no longer a threat to life and health, the NBCT candidates and their community education supporters will be invited to be our guests for a celebration at Kump Education Center.

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