Seventeen ACPS Educators Earn Teaching’s Highest Accomplishment

abstract image of teacher with children in classroom with child's hand raised
- Kudos to Staff

Nine educators have earned the teaching profession’s highest accomplishment, National Board Certification, for the first time with an additional eight renewing their certification. This cohort represents the largest group to complete the certification and recertification process in a single school year. ACPS now has 83 National Board Certified teachers and counselors.

Higher standards for teachers means better learning for students. The National Board Certification is a voluntary, teacher-driven professional learning process from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. The qualification helps support teachers developing and demonstrating the advanced knowledge, skills and practices required of an outstanding educator. Each teacher engaged in a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process demonstrating their impact on student learning and achievement.

Congratulations to the the following teachers who have earn their National Board Certification:

  • Kathleen Brewster, T.C. Williams High School
  • Kristin Donley, Mount Vernon Community School
  • Gabriel Elias, T.C. Williams High School
  • Vernise Ferrer, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School
  • Andrea Lewis, John Adams Elementary School
  • Jared Peet, T.C. Williams High School
  • Sally Preston, T.C. Williams High School
  • Clark Richardson, Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School
  • Tracy Tiernan, Mount Vernon Community School

While pursuing National Board was THE best professional decision I’ve ever made, it was also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Through every component I came through stronger, wiser and more effective. Because of the rigorous process I’ve gotten to the heart of ‘WHY’ and ‘HOW’… why I do what I do and how I’m going to ensure the success of my students. If you want to get back to your love for teaching and making a difference, make the decision to go through the National Board Process,” said Andrea Lewis, John Adams Elementary School.

Renewing one’s certification demonstrates an educator’s commitment to the profession and to their students. Accomplished teachers recognize that their professional learning and growth never ends. In any given subject and developmental area, best practice and knowledge are constantly evolving. Through the renewal process, teachers demonstrate the ways in which their practice grows and evolves and remains aligned with their certificate area.

National Board certification helps me reflect on my practice and discover my own strengths and weaknesses which I find powerful. This is my third certification and each time I learn more about myself and I am reminded the scope of teaching is so broad but even as a 25th year teacher, I can always find areas to grow and to improve,” said Brenda Tarquinio, John Adams Elementary School.

Congratulations to the following teachers who renewed their National Board Certification for an additional ten years:

  • Meredith Fortner, John Adams Elementary School
  • Tina Jobkar, Samuel Tucker Elementary School
  • Sarah Kiyak, T.C. Williams High School
  • Catherine Medina-Devilliers, T.C. Williams High School
  • Marie Peaches, James K. Polk Elementary School
  • Jane Richardson, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator
  • Brenda Tarquinio, John Adams Elementary School
  • Martha Walsh, Charles Barrett Elementary School/Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology

The Alexandria City School Board will recognize all at a reception on March 7.

Becoming a National Board Certified Teacher when I was a classroom teacher enabled me to become a more reflective practitioner. Engaging in the renewal process ten years later, as an instructional coach, has deepened my perspective on the impact my own professional learning has made on student achievement. I truly enjoyed going through the renewal process and reflecting on all I have accomplished and learned since my initial certification,” said Meredith Fortner, John Adams Elementary School.

As part of its commitment to developing an exemplary staff and ensuring a highly effective teacher in every classroom, ACPS pays the certification fees and provides ongoing support through a mentoring cohort to teachers who choose to pursue National Board Certification.

If you are interested in learning more about board certification, please contact Director of Talent Development Dr. Debra Lane at

Learn more about the certification process.