A teacher at Crystal Lake’s Hannah Beardsley Middle School was one of only 175 educators in Illinois to receive National Board Certification in 2019.
Eighth grade language arts teacher Patricia MacNally recently was recognized by the National Board Certification for Professional Teaching Standards for renewing her National Board Certification, according to Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47.
MacNally is one of only a handful of District 47 teachers to receive the recognition.
National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide, according to the board’s website. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.
Educators are invited to renew their certification every 10 years. MacNally completed her initial certification in 2009. The National Board Certification process is a rigorous one; only 20% of applicants typically pass the first time. Applicants must submit components such as lesson plans, teaching videos and a self-analysis, along with evidence of students’ work. There also is a comprehensive written exam.
“This is the most valuable thing I’ve ever done as a teacher, and I did it because I want to stay fresh and on top of my game,” MacNally said in a statement. “Each time I plan a lesson now, I ask myself why I am doing it and how I will know if my students learned it.”
MacNally has spent her entire career in District 47, starting as a paraprofessional at Hannah Beardsley in 1996. She was hired as an eighth grade language arts teacher in 2002 and has served in that role for the past 17 years.
Besides teaching eighth grade language arts, MacNally is a reader for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and coaches seventh grade girls volleyball.
In the past, she has served as a writing coach, a mentor for new teachers and a guest speaker for at-risk and Girls Night Out programs. In addition, she has taught professional development courses and has served on various district committees.
“I want to be relevant and don’t ever want to feel ‘stuck,’ ” MacNally said. “I am so thankful to have a job I love.”