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Three teachers earn National Board Certification

Three Lake Stevens School District teachers earned their National Board Certification in 2018. Certification is an advanced teaching credential where educators analyze their teaching content and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), Washington has the most new National Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) of any state. Overall, Washington has 10,859 NBCTs—the third highest in the country. Lake Stevens School District has 44 NBCTs.

Sara Boyer with a group of students
Three Lake Stevens teachers earned National Board Certification in 2018. Washington state has the most new board certified teachers in the country. Lake Stevens School District has 44 board certified teachers.

“It was very rewarding working in my cohort with teachers of various subject and grade levels,” said Tina Kinnard, an English teacher at Cavelero Mid High School. “I enjoyed getting critiqued and then figuring out how to improve my writing to the requirements; I felt proud of the work I submitted.”

Certification is a one- to five-year process that includes taking an assessment and assembling three portfolios. The portfolio is then assessed by a national panel of peers. Completing the certification shows that each teacher knows and practices the definitive standards of accomplished teaching.

“As a teacher with more than 20 years of experience, I needed to reflect deeply into my teaching and justify my practice,” said Danika Kotlarov, a math teacher at Lake Stevens High School. “It made me question a lot of what I do. I find I am now more intentional with my teaching.”

“Congratulations to all the newly-certified teachers and those who renewed their certificates,” said Chris Reykdal, Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The hard work, determination, and relentless self-reflection it took to get to this point is a major accomplishment. We are delighted to again welcome the largest class of new NBCTs in the country.”

Danika Kotlarov

Danika Kotlarov
Math Teacher
Lake Stevens High School


How long have you been a teacher?
27 years.

Why did you choose to become a teacher?
My undergraduate degree was in Russian Studies and I did not have the best plan for a career after graduation. My mom was a teacher and she encouraged me to consider teaching. I also had many inspirational teachers along the way.

How long have you worked for Lake Stevens School District?
22 years. Lake Stevens High School, 1992-2009 and Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota, 2009-2014.

My son and daughter are avid hockey players and this is a unique boarding school that allows students to pursue their sport or art while maintaining rigorous academics. After my son graduated in 2014 I reapplied to LSHS and was lucky to come back home!

Why was obtaining your National Board Certification important to you?
I did not know much about National Board Certification until I spoke to a colleague. I then researched and found that students learn more as teachers improve their practice. Additionally, I like to challenge myself to become better.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoying doing?
As a crazy hockey mom, I am by a TV or computer Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to watch my kids play hockey. I also love to run and participate in small races, yoga, hike in our beautiful mountains and fish with my husband.

Tina Kinnard

Tina Kinnard
English Teacher
Cavelero Mid High School


How long have you been a teacher?
25 years.

Why did you choose to become a teacher?
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl and I would “play school.” I never wanted to do anything else.

How long have you worked for Lake Stevens School District?
24 years. North Lake Middle School & Cavelero Mid High School.

Why was obtaining National Board Certification important to you?
It felt like the next natural step for me. I have been interested for years, but wanted to wait until my own kids were out of the house.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I love reading and watching TV. I love to ride bikes with my husband, and I am getting into art such as painting with acrylics. I am a political activist and I love to work on causes and legislation to protect all of our civil rights. And as my students know, I love my cats!

Sara Boyer

Sara Boyer
Second-Grade Teacher
Highland Elementary School


How long have you been a teacher?
19 years.

Why did you choose to become a teacher?
From the time I was a teenager, I loved working with kids. I spent time volunteering in classrooms and at a camp and it seemed like it was a perfect fit.

How long have you worked for Lake Stevens School District?
19 years, Highland Elementary School.

Why was obtaining National Board Certification important to you?
I was at a point in my career where I was ready for a new challenge. The National Boards process is a very reflective one, and I felt that it would be a great opportunity to grow as an educator.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoying doing?
I love doing outside activities with my family and friends—going on walks, boating and hiking.