26 Henrico teachers in group photo during pinning ceremony
Henrico County teachers stand onstage at a pinning ceremony Thursday at VCU’s Vlahcevic Concert Hall. Twenty-six Henrico County Public Schools teachers earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2019, and three additional HCPS teachers renewed their certifications. In the back row are: Amy Stills, Ashley Melnichak, Andrew Hall, Kelly Becker, Josh McKeon, Jennifer Hughes, Meghan Atkins, Brittany Fennell, Dr. Beth Teigen (HCPS chief of staff), Whitney Beaton, Nikki Ficor, Jessica Capano, Charlotte Mason and Cathleen Goodan. Middle row: Lindsey Pantele, Melissa Jeffrey, Jenny Brady, Stacy Hilton, Donna Letson and Amy Earle. Front row: Ellen Terry, Laura van Bylandt, Amber Fugate, Kelly DuBose, Bebhinn Thomas and Alayna Tignor.

Henrico, Va., Jan. 10, 2020 – Twenty-six Henrico County Public Schools teachers achieved certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2019, and three additional Henrico teachers renewed their certifications. Becoming certified is a rigorous process and is the profession’s highest mark of accomplishment. The national board also included HCPS among 11 school divisions in the country it recognized for supporting teachers in their efforts to earn certification.The teachers were honored in a pinning ceremony Thursday at VCU’s Vlahcevic Concert Hall, along with teachers from the city of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield and Hanover.

Among central Virginia school divisions, Henrico Schools employs the most teachers certified by the professional organization: 153.

A statement from the National Board said that “Henrico County Public Schools has seen tremendous growth in the number of teachers pursuing and achieving National Board certification and led the state in 2019. They have created a program that empowers [certified teachers] to lead candidates through the National Board process as a cohort, helping teachers be more successful and making the process more meaningful.”

This year represents an uptick in HCPS teachers earning certification from the group. Eleven Henrico County teachers earned the designation in both 2018 and 2017.

To become certified by the National Board, teachers must submit detailed portfolios to be reviewed by their peers. The portfolios include videos of the candidates teaching, documented professional accomplishments, reflective essays and examples of student work. Teachers must also pass an exam relevant to his or her subject and level of instruction.

Peggy Brookins, the organization’s president and CEO, said that HCPS and the other school divisions chosen for recognition have taken “extraordinary steps” to improve student learning by supporting teachers striving for certification.

“Their commitment – through financial resources and dedication to creative programming is having an impact on teachers and students, and I’m proud to recognize that work.”

Henrico County teachers newly certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards are:

  • Meghan E. Atkins, Springfield Park Elementary School
  • Whitney Beaton, Douglas S. Freeman High School
  • Kelly Jones Becker, Glen Lea Elementary School
  • Jenny Brady, Shady Grove Elementary School
  • Jessica Capano, Maude Trevvett Elementary School
  • Kelly D. DuBose, Shady Grove Elementary School
  • Amy L. Earle, Deep Run High School
  • Brittany Fennell, Springfield Park Elementary School
  • Nikki Ficor, Pinchbeck Elementary School
  • Amber Fugate, Mehfoud Elementary School
  • Cathleen A. Goodan, Twin Hickory Elementary School
  • Andrew M. Hall, Glen Allen High School
  • Tatiana Hawthorne, Maybeury Elementary School
  • Stacy Hilton, Springfield Park Elementary School
  • Jennifer deGraw Hughes, Rivers Edge Elementary School
  • Melissa Jeffrey, Sandston Elementary School
  • Donna Letson, Twin Hickory Elementary School
  • Charlotte S. Mason, Holman Middle School
  • Joshua McKeon, Mills Godwin High School
  • Ashley Melnichak, An Achievable Dream Academy at Highland Springs Elementary School
  • Lindsey Pantele, Glen Allen High School
  • Amy Stills, The Academy at Virginia Randolph
  • Ellen S. Terry, Henrico High School
  • Bebhinn Thomas, J. R. Tucker High School
  • Alayna M. Tignor, Holman Middle School
  • Laura van Bylandt, Hungary Creek Middle School

Teachers must renew their certification every 10 years to remain certified by the National Board. Henrico teachers recognized for renewing their certification included:

  • Jackie Batkins, Seven Pines Elementary School
  • Melissa Davis, Nuckols Farm Elementary School
  • Jessica Walter, Holman Middle School