Two Pulaski County Special School District teachers who teach Maumelle area children have distinguished themselves through special training and certification.

Rachel Blackwell, eighth-grade math teacher at Maumelle Middle School, and Laura Pierce, kindergarten teacher at Crystal Hill Elementary Magnet School, have earned the highest credential available to American educators by recently becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. National Board President and CEO, Dr. Ron Thorpe praised Rachel and Laura’s accomplishment, noting, "National Board Certification represents the pinnacle of professional accomplishment in teaching."

National Board Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-reviewed assessment of a teacher’s pedagogical skills and content knowledge. The certification process takes one to three years to complete. While licensing standards set the basic requirements to teach in a state, NBCTs demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices similar to the certifications earned by experts in law and medicine.

"We’re proud of this significant accomplishment, which will have a direct, positive impact on our schools and students," said PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess. Upon completion, the teachers earn an annual bonus of $5,000 from the State of Arkansas and $3,000 from PCSSD.