Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

A Note About Comments: When you post a Comment, please note that it will appear online after it is approved.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

One Out of Eleven

Imagine my surprise this morning to wake up and see this on our neuroblastoma listserv! I don't know how someone found it, but........In December, our favorite newspaper reporter - Jill Goshe, told me that she would be writing a story about obtaining my second National Board Certification. She told me she was waiting to find out from NBPTS exactly how many teachers had ever earned a second one. When I recently found out that there are only eleven of us, I was really surprised. I knew the number had to be small (who else could be that crazy to attempt it and to actually make it - TWICE?!) but I didn't expect it to be that small! She called and interviewed me Sunday evening in Arizona. She told me she would be running the story on Monday, but she didn't tell me it would include my picutre and be a front page, top story. Imagine my surprise when we stopped on the way home from the airport yesterday at a store to buy extra copies and I saw that. Shayla was a little hoot when she read the headline. "Mom, that's really great! What did you do?"

Teacher is one of 11 in the U.S.

By Jill Gosche,
POSTED: January 7, 2008

A local teacher is finding herself in elite company.

Angela Thomas, a seventh-grade language arts teacher for the Seneca East Local School District, is one of 11 teachers in the United States who have achieved two certifications through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Thomas, who is in her 19th year of teaching, achieved a certification in early childhood/generalist in 2004. In December, she was certified in early adolescence/English language arts.

Thomas said she thought she would be a hypocrite if she didn’t attempt a second certification when she became eligible.

“I felt so strongly about the first one, improving my practice as a teacher,” she said. “I felt I grew as a result of the process.”

James Minichello, media relations manager for the board, said National Board certification is the most prestigious credential a teacher can earn. He said 11 teachers have two certificates, and two teachers have achieved three.

“National Board certification is part of a growing national movement that advances education reform,” he said. “The National Board certification process makes accomplished teachers even better.”

Minichello said the certification process takes between 200 and 400 hours, on average, and has two parts. Teachers build a portfolio and complete online assessment exercises, he said.

“The teacher puts together their own written analysis and reflection, their student work samples, documented accomplishments of their work outside the classroom … and we also have the teachers videotape themselves in the classroom,” he said.

“In addition to that, the teacher must participate in online assessment exercises that demonstrate their subject-matter expertise, and they are given six exercises and are allowed 30 minutes each to answer.”

Thomas, a 1986 Seneca East graduate, said she received the early childhood certification — for ages 3-8 — in 2004 when she taught kindergarten part time.

She said she needed a full-time position because her daughter, Christi, was battling cancer, and she saw a posting for a full-time junior high language arts position.

When Thomas started the job in August 2004, she became eligible to pursue her second certification, aimed toward ages 11-15. She said she waited to apply until May 2006, when she thought Christi’s health was relatively stable. Christi succumbed to neuroblastoma about four months later.

Thomas said she thinks she had about 400 hours of work in the process when she completed it in April 2007. She said she believes she’s a stronger and more effective teacher than when she started the certification process.

“Everything you do with National Board, you have to tie it to how you improve student learning,” she said.

According to the board’s Web site, the total of certified teachers is nearly 64,000. Ohio has more than 2,700.

Minichello said officials are pleased nearly 8,500 teachers achieved certification this year, including 135 in Ohio.

“It’s a signal that the teacher quality movement in Ohio’s classrooms as well as America’s (classrooms) made a substantial gain, because National Board certification is the most prestigious credential a teacher can earn,” he said.

Thomas said she will start her Ph.D. dissertation in the area of National Board certification next year. She follows the motto, “Those who love teaching teach others to love learning.”

She said she thinks teachers sometimes get so caught up in their subject matter, they forget they’re teaching children and that they should put people first.

“I love what I do,” she said. “Every day is different. When you’re dealing with people and you’re dealing with young impressionable people … you’re trying to model everything in a positive way that will allow them to grow.”

On the Web:

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards:



At 8/1/08 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Angela :) we saw this in the the Advertiser as well :)

At 8/1/08 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, we hope you guys are doing well.

At 8/1/08 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, that's quite an accomplishment!
(but sorry about your Buckeyes).

At 8/1/08 8:58 AM, Blogger HeatherB said...

WOW Congraulations sweet friend! You ROCK!!

What a great and huge accomplishment! I'm sooo impressed!

Tons of love,

At 8/1/08 10:27 AM, Anonymous Holly Hart said...

Congratulations! Way to go! I just wished we lived in East Seneca so my grandsons could be your students!


At 8/1/08 11:11 AM, Blogger Sheila Ferrell said...

Congratulations Angela,
That was a beautiful write up and a huge accomplishment. To think that Christi was there to support you both times you certified. I wonder if she whispers ideas in your dreams. Shayla, so innocent and sweet but oh so funny!!
Hugs from South Texas, Sheila

At 8/1/08 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing! Congratulations Angela Thomas! You have always been teaching through this blog, taking time to share great game ideas and craft ideas, and the best books for young minds and readers. You have emphasized "teaching moments" along the way. Just last evening I was working with young adults, trying to teach them how to teach with passion. I learned so much from what you said in the article when you advised not to get too caught up in the subject matter, and rather, to focus on people. Thank you so much for being such a remarkable person, and for sharing that person with us on this blog. You and Shayla even had me looking at a map of the US to try to determine the answer to "Where's Shayla?" Well done!


At 8/1/08 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,

Just wanted to send you a huge & very well deserved CONGRATULATIONS!! We had some thunder here earlier today & I was wondering where it came from as it's a bit cold for thunder storms but now I know - it was the sound of one very speical, smiley angel jumping & dancing in heaven shouting "hey look at my clever mom" to all of her angel friends!!! I just know that she's every single bit as proud of you as you are of her.

How great was Shayla's comment too? You & Shayne are so blessed having 2 such beautiful, clever, funny, brave daughters - they get it all from their mom & dad!

Lots of love to you all as always

Nicky (England) xx

PS - Hi Shayla, am glad you enjoyed your time away. I can never guess where you are from the photographs as I don't know America at all but you're giving me lots of ideas of cool places to visit on my holiday there next year!!! Take care sweetie x

At 8/1/08 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats, Angela! That is worthy of the front page, above the fold!!

At 8/1/08 5:43 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

How awesome is that. Wow, I never imagined how intensive certification is. What an accomplishment! I am sure your Hubby and Shayla are beaming with pride over you. Way to go! You continually inspire me. Thanks!


At 8/1/08 6:58 PM, Blogger Just Me said...

Congrats!! As a teacher new to the field of teaching, I have "looked up' to you and your teaching accomplishments from afar. I have even looked into National Board Certification due to you mentioning it here. Thank you for inspiring me as a teacher, as well as in many other ways over the years.

At 8/1/08 8:12 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, your achievement is simply amazing. I am in complete awe. Congratulations!! I hope you did something special today.

Not only is it clear that you're brilliant, but your words speak volumes. If only all teachers had your passion, dedication and insight-- school would be so much better for so many struggling children.

Thanks so much for sharing!

At 8/1/08 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Angela!!!!

Pat in CA

At 9/1/08 12:29 AM, Blogger Jenni Renee said...

Hi! I have been keeping up with your blog since for sometime now however have always been pretty shy. I am breaking that now. lol. I just wanted to let you and your family know that I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. You are all so strong Willed!
Keep Smiling where ever and when ever you can!
Jenni Renee

At 9/1/08 9:53 AM, Blogger mom2pittcrew said...

Angela, I think I saw this in The Courier, too and do you think it even registered with me that the article was talking about you?!?!?


Meredith Pitt

At 9/1/08 11:02 AM, Blogger brooke said...

congratulations angela! it is a well deserved honour and well deserved recognition. you must just be tickled pink with yourself (if you aren't, it's this stranger's opinion that you should be). i admire your strength, very much so.

your dissertation topic sounds very interesting. i'm currently researching technology integration in k-12 schools here at utah state. i'm also glad you have technology in your classroom as well and are going to be able to use it. goodness, i would so love to ask you questions about using technology in your classroom, but i know you are a very busy woman.

brooke, a fellow phd student in logan, utah.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home