New Mexico Has 57 New National Board Certified Teachers Including Akiko Shiina And Amanda Ferran Of LAPS


Fifty-seven New Mexico educators are first-time recipients of National Board Certification, the highest mark of professional competence available to classroom teachers in this country.

They include Akiko Shiina of Los Alamos Middle School who certified in mathematics and early adolescence, and Amanda Ferran of Pinon Elementary School who certified as a generalist and in early childhood.

Eighty-two others have received renewed certification including Audrey Juliani of Barranca Mesa Elementary School, Matthew Allen of Aspen Elementary School and Sigrid Wurthmann of Mountain Elementary Schoool.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, an independent, nonprofit organization established in 1987. Since then, the board has certified more than 128,000 teachers who completed a rigorous, performance-based, peer-reviewed assessment to demonstrate their abilities in the classroom. 

The New Mexico Public Education Department each year awards up to $500,000 in scholarships to eligible teachers to seek National Board Certification, which costs $1,900 in all and can take up to three years to complete. In some cases, the timeline can be extended to five years.

“The state of New Mexico makes this investment in our educators because we know the rigorous certification process inspires them to become true masters of their profession,” Public Education Secretary (Designate) Kurt Steinhaus said. “We want these master teachers in our schools, where they inspire continuous improvement for other educators and, of course, our students benefit.” 

Teachers with at least three years classroom experience can apply for one of 25 possible certifications across four developmental levels and 16 areas of study. In all 25 certificate areas, candidates must complete four components:

  • Component 1: Content Knowledge (determined by a computer-based assessment taken at a testing center)
  • Component 2: Differentiation in Instruction (assessed by portfolio)
  • Component 3: Teaching Practice and Learning Environment (assessed by portfolio)
  • Component 4: Effective and Reflective Practitioner (assessed by portfolio)

“The National Board teacher certification provides an opportunity to deepen your understanding of yourself as a teacher and improve your teaching practice,” said Kim Landry, a second-grade teacher at Sunset Hills Elementary in Alamogordo. She earned certification in the category of Early Childhood Generalist age 3-8.

National Board Certification must be renewed every five years, which is accomplished by paying a fee and meeting requirements for professional development.

New Mexico’s National Board Certified Teachers – new and renewed – will be honored at a virtual celebration at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19 followed by a formal pinning ceremony, sponsored by the NM NBCT Network,  Feb. 19 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque (details to come).