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December 6, 2002

Illinois Gains 222 Nationally Certified Teachers

The State Board of Education was recently notified that 222 Illinois teachers achieved national certification this year from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The state ranked ninth in the number of national certificates issued in 2002. With a total of 569 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), Illinois also ranks ninth among the states.

“These teachers have completed a very rigorous process to achieve this prestigious acknowledgement of their professional ability,” said State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller. “In addition to the recognition, the extensive certification process helps these individuals improve their teaching, it enables them to help their fellow teachers explore new classroom skills and it yields greater student achievement.”

“We are very pleased with this substantial increase in National Board Certified Teachers, and we hope to see similar increases in the future.”

The General Assembly, the Governor and the State Board of Education have placed a high priority on increasing the number of nationally certified teachers. The effort got a substantial boost this year through a $3 million appropriation increase, bringing the Fiscal Year 2003 appropriation to $4.075 million , up from $1.075 million in FY 2002. At the same time, legislation was passed to increase the state stipend for NBCTs from a one-time payment of $3,000 to an annual payment of $3,000, subject to yearly appropriations.

In addition to the stipend, the state appropriation funds the $2,300 cost of completing the certification process. NBCTs can receive additional state support by mentoring other teachers. Some school districts also provide additional incentives for teachers to seek National Board Certification.

NBCTs are awarded Illinois’ Master Certificate when they achieve national certification. Master Certificates are good for ten years and renewable upon completion of professional development requirements. Standard Certificates must be renewed every five years by completing professional development requirements.

National Board certification is available in 24subject areas at high school, middle school and elementary levels. For the first time this year, an Illinois teacher completed her second national certification. Linda Comminos, an elementary school art teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, received national certification in Early and Middle Childhood Art after achieving national certification in Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Art in 1999.

The list of the 222 Illinois teachers who received national certification in 2002 and the complete list of 569 Illinois NBCTs are accessible on the National Board’s website at

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777