Soonja Larsen Achieves National Board Certification

We are proud to celebrate High School Dean of Students Soonja Larsen who recently completed the challenging process of earning National Board Certification in Music for Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood.

High School Principal Ryan Aiello commented, “Congratulations to Soonja Larsen on completing her NBCT certificate. In doing so, she joins an elite group of 11 other EC teachers who have devoted more than two years of additional study, research and work to earn this recognition. Soonja is an accomplished teacher and an amazing dean—an impeccable role model for students and the epitome of a lifelong learner. We are so fortunate to have her as a member of the EC community.”

“It’s an honor to earn this certification and be recognized as a skilled and reflective practitioner in my field,” Soonja Larsen said. “My journey to achieve National Board Certification was not easy, but I feel accomplished in all of the hard work, detail and reflection I put into it. I found myself concentrating on all the teaching choices I was making and how those choices were helping all my students.”

In addition to Mrs. Larsen’s recent certification, 11 other Eastside Catholic faculty and staff members were previously awarded National Board Certification:

  • Piper Deardorff, High School Social Studies
  • Aimee Dingler, High School English
  • Maria Granda, World Languages – Spanish
  • Sean Henderson, High School Mathematics
  • Jeff LaBelle, High School English
  • Danielle Maletta, High School Mathematics and Robotics
  • Tara Maloney, High School Science
  • Megan McDermott, High School Visual Arts
  • Mollie Page, High School Biology
  • Lisa Snow, High School English
  • Erin Vickers, Middle School Science

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential and is predicated on a teacher’s ability and dedication to five core areas:

1.   Commitment to students and their learning

2.   Knowledge of the subjects they teach and how to teach these subjects to students

3.   Responsibility for managing and monitoring student learning

4.   Systematic approaches regarding teaching practices and continuous improvement as an educator

5.   Membership in professional learning communities

Substantial time and energy are expended by an educator in pursuit of National Board Certification. Over and above a teacher’s typical workload, the certification process requires a teacher to analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement.

Applicants must also submit a reflective analysis that demonstrates a strong command of content and showcases their ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning. The process typically takes more than a year to complete.