Congratulations to Three Teachers Who Received the Profession’s Highest Accomplishment


Teacher Julia Lytle Brent and Superintendent Alvin Crawley.

Congratulations to three ACPS teachers who have received or renewed their National Board Certification – the teaching profession’s highest mark of accomplishment.

Brenda Barnes, Julia Lytle Brent and Laurel Taylor were presented with flowers and a certificate by Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley at the School Board meeting on Thursday evening and praised for their dedication throughout the rigorous, performance-based peer-review program.

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 to develop and demonstrate the advanced knowledge, skills and practices required of an outstanding educator.


School Board Chair Karen Graf, teacher Laurel Taylor and Superintendent Alvin Crawley.

Julia Lytle Brent and Laurel Taylor were awarded the recognition for the first time, while Brenda Barnes, a teacher for 23 years, renewed her qualification.

Higher standards for teachers means better learning for students. As part of its commitment in the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan, ACPS pledges to develop an exemplary staff and ensure that there is a highly effective teacher in every classroom, ACPS provides on-going support to teachers who choose to pursue National Board Certification. Currently, ACPS has 64 National Board Certified teachers and counselors.

Julia Lytle Brent teaches English 10 to students in the Excel Academy at T.C.
Williams High School and has been teaching in ACPS for 13 years. Ms. Brent is dual certified as both Special Educator and English Language Arts teacher with a National Board Certificate in English/Language Arts for adolescence through young adulthood. Ms. Brent pursued certification because she wanted the challenge of a truly reflective, introspective professional development opportunity. She describes the process as one of the “most grueling” and “one of the most rewarding” learning experiences she has had. It’s through the certification process that Ms. Brent says her passion for reaching the students who were most challenging to teach was rekindled.

Laurel Taylor is an English teacher at T.C. Williams High School and has been with ACPS for eight years. In addition to teaching students enrolled in Dual Enrollment College Composition 11 and 12, Ms. Taylor serves as the Director of the Writing Center and coach of the Debate Team. Ms. Taylor is passionate about helping students become better readers and writers.


Teacher Brenda Barnes, School Board Chair Karen Graf and Superintendent Alvin Crawley.

Brenda Barnes teaches English Language Learners at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary
School. She’s been a teacher for 23 years, 8 years of which have been with ACPS. Having earned her original National Board certificate 10 years ago, Ms. Barnes renewed her certificate during the 2014-15 school year. Ms. Barnes explains that the National Board Certification process taught her to be very intentional and thoughtful in her teaching. Her passion is getting to know her students and their families and ensuring that school is a place where all feel comfortable and welcomed.

Watch the ACPS 2020: Goal 1 – Academic Excellence and Educational Equity:


ACPS, ACPS 2020, Alexandria City High School, Tucker, Video