Nigerian, four others receive highest U. S. award for teachers

ORABUCHI_04 newBy Daniel Osundu

The Dallas Independent School District (ISD) has announced the award of the US highest professional credential known as the National Board Certification 2013 to one of its Nigerian-American teachers Dr. Acho Orabuchi and four others.

According to the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees, Orabuchi along with Rhonda Bliss, Ignacio Javier, Fernandez-Castro and Tiffanye Lockhart Oliver were given the award because of their individual accomplishments in their various fields
According to the award committee, the National Board Certification is the highest professional credential in the field of teaching. It is a voluntary process established by the U. S National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), with a certification process involving a rigorous performance-based assessment that takes nearly a year to complete.

Through the assessment process, teachers document their subject matter knowledge, provide evidence that they know how to teach their subjects to students most effectively, and demonstrate and ability to manage and measure student learning.

Andy Coons, Chief Operating Officer at the National Board who welcomed the recipients to the growing ranks of NBCTS said they were transforming teaching and learning across America.

According Coons, achieving National Board Certification is a tremendous accomplishment and something to take pride in.

Said Coons: “As you hang your certificate on your wall, keep in mind that it also marks the beginning of a new phase in your journey as an accomplished educator,” adding that the process of Board-certification was absolutely transformative to his practice as a middle school math teacher, which turned to be a pivotal point in his career.

He continued: “Being an NBCT recipient opened many doors to me, including the opportunity to serve as the president of the Tacoma Education Association. The Five Core Propositions of the NBCT are always guiding me, and the classroom will always be where my heart is.

“ I have no doubt that as a new NBCT, you will feel the same way, no matter where your path in education leads you.’’

He, however, noted that as a new NBCT, the recipients’ voices and involvement was critical, stressing that “I hope you will share your successes with us, as well as your opinions on the most pressing issues in education and the work we have before us.’’

In his response Orabuchi said he had wanted to reach another milestone in his teaching career and when the district held information sessions on the National Board Certification process and the selection process for the program, he took advantage of the opportunity.

Orabuchi said he realised the rigorous nature of the National Board Certification process and its potential benefits in improving his teaching practices to effectively impact students’ learning thus challenging himself to venture into it.

Orabuchi threw further insight into his venture: “It helped me to reflect on my teaching practices and correct areas that needed fine-tuning. The program has made me to consistently reflect on my teaching with a central focus on students’ learning,’’ Orabuchi said in his response at the event.”
Orabuchi was appointed to the State Textbook Review Panel for Proclamation 2010 and Proclamation 2011, as well as a member of the State Review Panel, whose responsibilities included reviewing and evaluating instructional materials submitted for the adoption year by the Texas State Board of Education.
As a review panelist, Dr. Orabuchi helped determine the extent to which instructional materials cover the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Also, in 2012, Dr. Orabuchi was appointed by the Student Assessment Division of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to review new test items for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) assessments and the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) reading tests.

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