Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Juneau Recognized National Board Certified Teachers at SLE


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Seeley Lake Elementary National Board Certified Teachers with Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and MEA-MFT representative Erik Burke. Pictured (L-R): Sharon Teague, Erik Burke, Kelsi Luhnow, Chantel Thornsberry, Juneau, Sheila Devins and Michele Holmes.

SEELEY LAKE - Monday, Oct. 5 Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau celebrated and awarded a $3,000 stipend check from the state of Montana to Seeley Lake Elementary (SLE) third grade teacher Kelsi Luhnow and sixth grade teach Sharon Teague.

Luhnow and Teague are two of seven new Montana National Board Certified teachers. Out of more than 12,000 teachers in Montana, these teachers recently joined 148 other Montana National Board Certified teachers including three others from SLE. SLE is now ranked fifth in the state for the number of certified teachers.

National Board Certification (NBC) is the highest level of certification a U.S. teacher can earn. It is earned through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a nonprofit organization that sets national standards for teaching excellence. 

To achieve NBC, candidates spend nine months subjecting their teaching practice to peer review and criticism. They complete extensive portfolios documenting their teaching performance, including video of classroom instruction. They also sit for rigorous written tests.

"I don't think there is any more difficult process than to have your colleagues judge you," Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said. "But what I hear from every NBC candidate is that it's the best thing they've done to become better teachers."

Juneau addressed the SLE third through eighth grade student assembly prior to recognizing Luhnow and Teague. She told the students that at the end of the NBC process, they are not just good teachers, "They are what we call super teachers."

Juneau along with Erik Burke, MEA-MFT representative, Montana's union for teachers and other public employees, presented Luhnow and Teague their checks. They also recognized the three other NBC teachers who received their stipend in 2014, fourth grade teacher Chantel Thornsberry, Media and Technology teacher Michele Holmes and kindergarten teacher Shelia Devins.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

SLE sixth grade teacher Sharon Teague receiving her $3,000 stipend from Superintendent Denise Juneau after third grade teacher Kelsi Luhnow received her stipend.

After accepting her check Luhnow said, "I'm honored and blessed to be a part of this school. It wasn't a hard decision to take this on, even though it was a lot of work. To be a better teacher for all of you kids made it totally worth it."

Teague said, "This is a tough process that is a lot of work and it [is] really scary. It means a lot to me to be joined with the other teachers who have received their board certifications."

"There is a lot to be said about the professionalism in this building. You are so lucky to have these teachers," said Juneau. "I don't think there is anything more meaningful than to be judged by your peers and found that you are great."

The other five Montana teachers recognized this year are: Craig Beals, Billings Senior High, Billings, Mont .; Georgia LaForge, Hyalite Elementary School, Bozeman, Mont .; Anika McCauley, Boulder Elementary School, Boulder, Mont .; Christine O'Shea, Hyalite Elementary School, Bozeman, Mont. and Nichole Sullivan, Boulder 7-8, Boulder, Mont.


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