Three SMHS Teachers join the NBCT Ranks 

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Luca Azzani, Author

In March of this year, 2021, the following Spring Mills High teachers became National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT): Mrs. Karla HilliardMrs. Elizabeth Jorgensen, and Mrs. Jessica Salfia. 

“The biggest factor in me getting my National Boards was the pay raise that Berkeley County gives to NBCT,” says Mrs. Jorgensen 

Many are the incentives to start the process of NBCT, but in a state where a teacher’s pay and their benefits keep getting questioned and revised, the higher salary is most welcome. This is especially true for teachers who simply want to provide the right environment for students to reach their full potential. 

“There aren’t a ton of opportunities for advancement or salary increase when you’re a classroom teacher. WV and BCS highly incentivize NBCT certification,” said Mrs. Hilliard. 

These aren’t just any teachers though. Even though all three are part of SMHS’s English department, they all contribute in their own way.  

Mrs. Salfia has been teaching for the past 17 years and has been at SMHS since it opened in 2013. She teaches all grades with a variety of classes from Creative Writing to AP Language and Composition. Many remember her classes for the remerging message of finding one’s Appalachia and how WV has shaped them. 

“I plan to use this certification to keep teaching in WV, make WV schools stronger, and help WV kids achieve their goals,” commented Mrs. Salfia. 

Mrs. Hilliard has been working in Cardinal Country since it opened too and has taught for the past 16 years. She teaches English classes, such as English 11 and AP Literature for grades 11 & 12. Her class leans more on creating a more student-driven class, where ideas are brought by students and she guides them. 

I paln to just keep on keepin‘ on. I love learning, and I’m passionate about education. I’m currently finishing my coursework in Fairmont State’s Educational Leadership program, and I hope to use these certifications to continue to make a positive impact in my classroom and school community,” said Mrs. Hilliard. 

Mrs. Jorgensen has been a teacher at Spring Mills for the past seven yearsIn addition to her English classes, she is responsible for the school’s yearbook and SMHS’s newspaper, The Bird’s Eye ViewNo easy task, making her more than qualified for such a certificate, and even though it won’t be put to good use at Spring Mills, it will provide a most favorable learning plan for many students. 

“I am actually moving to Michigan next school year because my husband got a new job there. In transferring my West Virginia teaching certificate to Michigan, having the National Board Certification made the process easier,” iterated Mrs. Jorgensen. 

“These teachers are eggcelent says Spring Mills High School mascot, the Cardinal named Big Red. Any student who has had class with these teachers will tell you their apt in the classroom, from skillful teaching to adaptability with studentsThe Cardinal community can’t wait to see what impact they will have on the society of tomorrow.