The Sequim school board recognized four teachers on Dec. 14 for becoming national board certified: Christy Ditlefsen, technology; Stuart Marcy, technology; Ione Marcy, literacy; and Stephanie Grotzke, elementary education.
Becoming national board certified is a higher recognition for teachers after receiving a master's degree.
They must write four entries or essays on their area of interest and receive assessments on their teaching.
Ione Marcy said one entry took her about 90 hours and that, because of time constraints with teaching, only 40 percent of those who attempt certification pass on the first try.
Sequim school district has more than 10 national board certified teachers, with more working on the certification.
"I wanted to reach the pinnacle of my education goals," Ione Marcy said.
"At the same time, I wanted to prove to myself I could do it."
Stuart Marcy, director of careers in technology education at Sequim High School, said the certification process helped him change his learning priorities for himself and his students.
"It has raised the importance of knowing my students and improved the way I've presented material and making it more relevant to them," he said.
Ione Marcy says the process helped her become more purposeful in teaching.
"Literacy was my focus and in (Helen Haller), our literacy program is very productive," she said.
"(Her students) are becoming very self-aware readers and understand what they need to do to make progress."
Research finds the following about national board certified teachers:
_ Their students make higher gains on achievement tests.
_ They positively impact curricular decisions, chair departments and serve as faculty voices to policymakers.
_ They can advance as master teachers, school leaders and mentors without leaving the classroom.
_ Their certification is sufficient proof for state licensure, allowing movement from state-to-state.
_ They have higher salary potential.
_ They meet most states' definition of "highly qualified teacher" under No Child Left Behind.