By Diana Nelson
Laura Motoush, art teacher at Aprende Middle School in Chandler, recently joined the ranks of top-tier educators by becoming nationally certified.
National Board Certification (NBC) is a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that goes beyond the required state licensure. NBC has national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, and issues certificates to those who successfully complete its rigorous process.
While board certification is not required for teachers, more educators in the Kyrene District have voluntarily studied for the national examination as a way to improve their performance in the classroom.
Motush– or Miss Mo–as she is known by her students, is the only National Board Certified teacher at Aprende and Renee Kory, the school’s principal, says that becoming certified is valuable for both the teacher and students.
“The value of having a National Board Certified teacher on campus is immeasurable,” said Kory.
“They have gone through a rigorous process to demonstrate that they are the ‘best of the best’ in the education world and they truly are some of the most remarkable educators I have been proud to work with.
“My present and previous National Board Certified teachers have consistently been the most highly regarded and popular teachers with parents and students.”
To become a National Board Certified Teacher, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree and pass an extensive assessment process and demonstrate proficiency in their subject matter expertise. There are 25 subject areas of focus that can be obtained.
While the board certification is an advanced teaching credential, it complements, but does not replace a state teacher’s license. It is only valid for 10 years, but can be renewed through recompletion of the certification process.
Motoush will begin her ninth year of teaching with the Kyrene District in the fall. She earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Art Education at ASU.
“While student teaching at Marcos de Niza high school and Waggoner C.I. Elementary, I fell in love with the Kyrene School District and was thrilled when I was offered a position,” said Motoush.
Motush decided she wanted to focus on her own growth as a teacher and this is where National Board Certification came in.
“I had heard stories of how challenging the work is, but I my dedication and passion to be the best for my students helped me make the leap.
“The certification process changed the way I plan, teach, and reflect. I am without a doubt a stronger teacher because of this process,” said Motoush.
In addition to teaching art and photography, she also leads an art club once a week for students.
“I am really excited to be extending my work to help bring more opportunities for arts in the community,” said Motoush.
“When I am not working I can be found at concerts, festivals, creating artwork, going to the Phoenix Art Museum to be inspired by current exhibits, playing with my two adorable miniature dachshunds, working out, and camping or hiking.”