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Teachers work on certification

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June 2, 2004

Albany-- South Georgia teachers use summer break to become better at what they do.

Dr. John Culbreath says, "It's just going to be a matter of time before we see a mushroom effect of Board Certified Teachers in Southwest Georgia."

It's a goal reached by few teachers in this area. Becoming nationally board certified means that a teacher is one of the best in the United States. In 18 South Georgia counties, there are only two board certified teachers. But, it looks like that will soon change.

Classes are out now, but the learning isn't over for these South Georgia teachers.

"This process shortens the step between where they are now, very, very good teachers to what they will become and that's exemplary teachers," says Albany State Dean of Education Dr. John Culbreath.

Culbreath, the former superintendent in Dougherty County, is helping 70 South Georgia teachers reach an important pinnacle, "The Board Certification is a seal of good practice, a good housekeeping seal that verifies from everybody across the nation that these teachers are outstanding."

Teachers like Terrell County High English Teacher Israel Green, "I think it is something that will help me to be a better teacher, and not only just myself, but my family as a whole."

Tat's because the Green family--wife Carrie and daughter Bernita--are going through the board certification process together. Carrie Green, a teacher at Dougherty Middle, says "We are a close knit family, we are all educators, and we just like to do things together."

Now, this family is embarking on a strenuous certification process that takes more than 200 hours.

Dr. Culbreath says, "They are going to go through the process and at the end of the journey we are going to have a critical mass of board certified teachers for the children of Southwest Georgia." And that's who will benefit most from this summer of learning--Southwest Georgia students.

The Green's other daughter, who is a teacher in Atlanta, is also working toward her National Board Certification this year.

Fewer than half of the teachers across the country who try for the certification get it the first time.

Posted at 6:16 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com