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Kapa‘a teachers earn board certification

KAPA‘A – Elementary teachers Johnson Koo and Yvette Rapozo received notification as National Board Certified Teachers at Kapa‘a Elementary School.

Koo and Rapozo received pins and certificates from state, county and state Department of Education officials Thursday. Kapa‘a High School teacher Kara Kitamura was not present, but she renewed her National Board Certification and was also recognized.

Teachers who work toward this certification can choose to finish it in one to five years.

“It is the golden standard of teaching excellence said,” Felicia Villalobos, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board.

Villalobos, who teaches first grade at Wilcox School, says the certification process takes dedication. She believes that all the teachers who get certified are leaders who propel Hawai‘i ‘s education system forward and elevate the quality of education.

Steps involved in the NBCT process include videotaping lessons, going through an assement of knowledge on various topics and a record of professional development, according to Michael Kline, a member of the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board.

Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki voiced pride in the teachers at Thursday’s ceremony, anknowledging the effort that goes into obtaining the certification.

“This is something that is hard work and extra beyond what they do. We have many more that are doing it,” Arakaki said. “They are coming up, and it enforces and supplements and supports the students. We got great teachers on Kaua‘i.”

Both teachers were ecstatic and had a few words to say to their supporters and teachers who inspire to walk in their footsteps.

Koo said, “I feel honored and excited to receive this award. It was something I was working on for a few years. I had been teaching here at Kapa‘a Elementary School for 13 years. I think everyone should make the attempt if they have the time. It’s well worth it. I learned a lot through the process.”

Rapozo echoed Koo, saying the work required to obtain the certificaiton is well worth the effort.

“It took me three years. I didn’t pass the first time around,” Rapozo said. “For teachers who are looking to pursue it, I suggest they work with their colleagues. They will get more support and it helps with all components.”

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Stephanie Shinno, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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