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The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards made Smith a nationally certified teacher, the only one in the Hartselle school system.For more than two years, she spent Valuations NSW  between 500 and 600 hours beyond her classroom time trying to accumulate the 275 points NBPTS requires for national certification.I’ve attended a lot of workshops and they give me new ideas, but this program allowed me to self-evaluate myself, Smith said.I learned that I had so much to learn.What amazes me most is that she doesn’t consider this an honor, Barkley Bridge Principal Susan Hayes said.

She thinks what she has done is part of her professional development.School Board Chairman Ronnie Abercrombie added: She’s definitely an asset to our school system and a good example for our students.Smith’s desire to teach started when she was an elementary student in Hartselle.She admired her third-grade teacher, Mary Francis Turney, because she made learning fun.She was such an inspiration.I wanted to be like her.She also got a boost from her mother’s home daycare center.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Athens State in 1983, a master’s degree from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990 and an educational specialist degree from UAB in 1993.She’s worked more than 16 years as a teacher in the Hartselle system, but has never stopped learning.There are always new things coming in education and teachers have to be willing to learn and adjust, Smith said.Teachers have to be continual learners.

I want to stay green and keep growing.She learned about the national certification program from educational journals and other teachers.When she pitched the idea of gaining national certification to husband, Jeff, and daughter, Megan, they were supportive.My husband didn’t understand why I needed it, but he stood behind me, she said.I couldn’t have done it without the family support.Gaining national certification involved a series of performance-based assessments that