|This story has been corrected.|
The number of nationally certified teachers in the islands continues to rise, with 44 new names added to the list this year.
There are now 284 teachers with the prestigious designation, representing 2 percent of the teaching force in Hawaii public schools.
One of those to earn national certification this year is Sheri Funasaki, a preschool teacher at Mililani Mauka Elementary School.
"It’s quite a commitment," said Funasaki, a 17-year veteran teacher. "Through the process, there was so much more to learn about teaching. I found out what my strengths are. I also found out what I needed to work on. It was a personal thing I wanted to do."
The state has worked hard during the last decade to boost the number of teachers who are nationally certified, a distinction that takes a year to attain and requires hundreds of hours of preparation. Teachers must participate in videotaped teaching demonstrations, take tests to demonstrate content knowledge and submit examples of student work and a portfolio of their professional work.
The number of national board-certified teachers in Hawaii:
In 1999, only one teacher in Hawaii was nationally certified.
But over time, more teachers here sought certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, due in part to incentives for those who earn the credential.
The state Department of Education gives teachers with the certification a $5,000 annual bonus. Nationally certified teachers in schools that are restructuring or not meeting adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Law get an additional $5,000.
Since 2008, the number of nationally certified teachers has increased nearly 40 percent, to 284 teachers this year, according to figures set to be released today by the Hawaii Teachers Standards Board. Nationwide, 8,600 teachers were certified this year.
There are 91,013 nationally certified teachers around the country.
Corey Rosenlee, a social studies teacher at Campbell High School, said the promise of a bonus spurred him to seek national board certification.
Rosenlee, one of the 44 new board-certified teachers this year, said he hoped the bonus would make up for pay lost through teacher furloughs.
"The money was an incentive," he said, adding that it is "nice to just be recognized."
The national board "emulates the highest standards for the teaching profession," Hawaii standards board Chairwoman Janice Shishido said in a statement. "Every day, these accomplished teachers are having a positive impact on students in Hawaii."
All but one of the 44 newly certified teachers in the islands this year work in public schools. The lone teacher working in a private school is Sonya Kurisu at Kamehameha Schools-Maui.
TEACHERS UP TO THE TEST
The 44 Hawaii teachers who attained national board certification in 2010 are:
Kalihi Kai Elementary
Source: Hawaii Teacher Standards Board
» Michael Shumate, a teacher at Kalanianaole Elementary & Intermediate School on the Big Island, was one of 44 Hawaii teachers who attained national certification this year. His surname was misspelled and a different school named on Page B6 Wednesday.