Carson Middle School teacher receive national certification

Jessica Barlow-Daniels has a long history as an exemplary English teacher at Carson Middle School - but now she's making history.

Daniels is one of 24 Nevada teachers in the state to receive National Board Certification, and she is the first in Carson City.

"She's the kind of teacher every parent wants their child to have," said Associate Superintendent Mary Pierczynski. "She's innovative, creative and enthusiastic."

National Board Certification is a voluntary process established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Although Clark County is the state's largest school district, the largest number of nationally certified teachers are in Washoe County, where there are 11. Nine are from Clark County, two are from Humboldt County, one is from Pershing County and Barlow-Daniels is from Carson City.

Teachers must document an understanding of their subject matter and explain their methods of teaching that subject.

"You take apart your entire teaching career, then put it back together," Daniels said. "You in-depth analyze everything you've done and why you've done it."

After working on the portfolio for nearly a year, teachers take an eight-hour exam. About 44 percent receive certification on the first attempt.

"These teachers exemplify the very best work of Nevada's educators," said Elaine Lancaster, president of the national board. "National Board Certification recognizes what teachers know and do and makes the connection between teacher quality and student achievement."

Daniels said she wanted to receive the certification to send a positive message.

"I think it allows the public a chance to see the quality of teaching that's in today's American school system," she said. "Wonderful things are occurring in classrooms."

Wonderful things have occurred in Daniels' classroom for 20 years, 15 of which have been at Carson Middle School. And she loves it.

"Where else can you see roses bloom every day?" she asked. "It's like watching a child's first steps every single day."

Last year, Daniels was one of 39 finalists nationwide, taken from 75,0000 applicants, to compete for Walt Disney Co.'s Outstanding Teacher of the Year award.

When looking ahead, many future teachers use Daniels as their role model.

"We get so many requests every year from student teachers who want to work with her," Pierczynski said. "She's just outstanding."

Daniels gave much of the credit to her family who supported her through the application process.

The Nevada teachers joined 4,694 teachers who earned the certification nationwide.


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