• Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Boyd gets 2009 Master Teacher Certification

    By Johnny Jackson


    Tisha Boyd was among the 112 educators included in a recent announcement recognizing Georgia teachers who have received "Master Teacher" certification, an accomplishment that is based on helping to produce appreciable gains in student achievement.

    "I try to reflect to see how I'm doing with the students," said Boyd, 40. "This was my opportunity to see, from an outside perspective, how I was doing."

    Boyd has taught seventh-grade English/language arts at Eagle's Landing Middle School for the past three years. She said, however, that her career did not begin in the classroom.

    She earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, and later became certified to teach, and earned her master's and specialist degrees in educational leadership.

    "From criminal justice, I really don't think I was making the difference I wanted to make," Boyd said. "I have a passion for reading. Growing up [as an only child until age 17], reading was my escape."

    Boyd said she has seen significant gains in her students' scores on standardized tests from their previous year's assessments in English/language arts.

    According to Gov. Sonny Perdue's office, Boyd is the only school teacher with Henry County Public Schools to apply and be certified as a 2009 Master Teacher.

    Boyd said her objective in the classroom is to focus on how various aspects of life live on through art and literature. The former school-level Teacher of the Year for Atlanta Public Schools (at J.E. Brown Middle School) said she has spent the past nine years in education striving to better herself as a teacher for the benefit of her students.

    "I want to make sure that my students are making gains," she said. "I'm just hoping, from this, I'll have more opportunities to collaborate with other teachers to help my students."

    The Georgia's Master Teacher Certification Program, which began in 2006, is coordinated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and provides statewide recognition to certified public school teachers who have at least three years of teaching experience in the state.

    "The Georgia Professional Standards Commission is proud to administer the Master Teacher certification program, said Kelly Henson, executive secretary of the commission. "We congratulate these teachers for their dedication and consistent leadership."

    Master Teachers are eligible to automatically renew their teaching certificates as long as they continue to qualify for Master Teacher status.

    "There are now 466 Master Teachers in Georgia who have demonstrated their expertise in helping our children achieve at higher levels," said Gov. Sonny Perdue, who announced the certifications Friday. "They are masters at inspiring students to learn, and I am proud to recognize their tireless efforts and collective success in improving student achievement."