BHS art teacher Magon Hamilton with students

Thirty-one staff members in Bellingham Public Schools earned National Board Certification in December 2017 following an intensive process of teaching and learning professional development. These teachers and counselors join more than 125 district colleagues in earning national board-certified status.

“Achieving National Board certification represents a significant body of work for each of our teachers and counselors in this group,” says deputy superintendent Mike Copland. “This accomplishment is a celebration of their outstanding skills, dedication to the profession and focus on continual professional learning. I would like to congratulate all of them on this achievement!”

The current list of newly certified staff is organized below by school level.

Elementary School:  teacher on special assignment Nina Ballew, Silver Beach first grade teacher Sharon Burdick, third grade teacher Arionda Feeney, Birchwood ELL specialist Sarah Ferris, Parkview special education teacher Mary Gollen, Silver Beach fourth grade teacher Sarah Hostetler, music specialist Kristina Kilgore, Northern Heights kindergarten teacher Kari Lanham, Parkview second grade teacher Morgan Massey, Geneva kindergarten teacher Aubrey Merritt, Geneva kindergarten teacher Jennifer Miller, Roosevelt second grade teacher Julie Miller, Sunnyland kindergarten teacher Lisa Richardson, districtwide preschool/special education teacher (on leave of absence) Christine Wasserman, and Silver Beach fourth grade teacher Matthew Zigulis;

Middle School: Fairhaven special education teacher Erin Burke, Kulshan language arts teacher Julie Capper, Shuksan counselor Jennifer Cowan, Kulshan special education teacher Laura Engelhoff, Kulshan language arts teacher Peter Lupo, and Whatcom social studies teacher Grace Meloy;

High School: Sehome teacher Monique Carpenter, Bellingham math teacher Benjamin Goodwin, Bellingham art teacher Magon Hamilton, Squalicum special education teacher Connor Hegarty, Sehome counselor Kip Jones, Sehome special education teacher Kacy Keck, Squalicum social studies teacher Reed Richardson, Sehome counselor Hana Schutz, Bellingham science teacher John Stockman, and Sehome social studies, science and German teacher Edward Wissing.

According to the Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington state, Washington ranks number one in the number of newly certified teachers for 2017 (1,434) and ranks number three for overall national certified teachers.

Created in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit organization devoted to advancing the quality of teaching and learning.

Board certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards consists of four components: 1) an assessment of the teacher’s content knowledge; 2) a portfolio showing work students have done and the teacher’s feedback to the student; 3) two videos of the teacher in the classroom, showing lessons taught and the interaction with and among students; and 4) a portfolio of “reflective” work: what the teacher does outside the classroom that translates in the classroom. The last three components are assessed by a national panel of peers.

To search for national board-certified teachers by district, or for more details about the National Board certification process, visit the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ website at

For more information:

NBCTs by district

About NBCT – OSPI information


Photo 1-2: Grace Meloy, Whatcom Middle School social studies teacher

Photo 3-4: Magon Hamilton, Bellingham High School (BHS) art teacher

Photo 5: BHS math teacher Ben Goodwin

Photo 6: BHS science teacher John Stockman

Photo 7: Geneva Elementary kindergarten teacher Aubrey Merritt*

Photo 8: Geneva Elementary kindergarten teacher  Jennifer Miller*

*Both Merritt and Miller would like you to know it was Bow Day at Geneva and they normally do not wear hair bows.  


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