A Saranac Lake teacher has received National Board Certification.
Amanda Zullo, a science teacher at Saranac Lake High School, was awarded the certification after undergoing rigorous testing that tests the equivalent of AP level for Biology, Earth and Space Science, Chemistry and Physics. Each teacher’s performance is individually examined by trained classroom educators and assessed by the highest standards in the profession.
“If I had known the impact the process would have had on my teaching I would have pursued it earlier,” Zullo said. “It was by and far the most enlightening professional development I’ve ever done. The process forced me to critically look at everyday instructional decisions and evaluate their effectiveness on student learning. The national board standards are quite rigorous and aligned to school standards.”
Zullo said she was fortunate to have the administrative support of Saranac Lake High School (even though no teacher from Saranac Lake had pursued it before), the Union Graduate College group that was partially funded through CASADA and her parents. Some financial support was available through the Albert Shanker Grant helping to fund the cost of the actual certification.
“The honest approach of examining strengths and weakness has resulted in me being a much better educator for our students,” she said. “A year later I am still utilizing similar analysis and reflection practices, continually seeking to use items that will most benefit my current student population.”
In New York State there are currently over 1,200 teachers with 100 board certified 7-12 science teachers. The 2011-2012 cohort of New York state teachers resulted in 156 achieving the certification. Within the Adirondack part there are 4 teachers with this level of certification and north of Albany/Utica there are less than 10.