Ohio Connections Academy Teacher Achieves National Board Certification

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards recognizes Stephanie Nickles for advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices

OHIO (January 20, 2011) — Ohio Connections Academy (OCA) is pleased to announce that Stephanie Nickles, a high school math teacher, has achieved National Board Certification. This advanced credential is recognized as a mark of distinction and a model for identifying accomplished teaching practice.

'Stephanie is focused on student achievement and works tirelessly to ensure that her students understand the subject matter,' said Christy Lamb, assistant high school principal for OCA. 'She is an outstanding teacher, and National Board Certification is a well-deserved honor. We are so fortunate to have Stephanie on our team.'

National Board Certification is awarded by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the organization that sets and maintains standards for teaching excellence. To achieve certification, teachers must meet NBPTS' high standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.

'At a time when our country is trying to build successful models of whole school transformation, a key determinant of a student's outcome is a highly-effective teacher,' said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, president and chief executive officer of NBPTS. 'National Board Certification is a tough process, and teachers achieving certification are to be commended for making a positive difference in the lives of their students.'

This is Nickles first year teaching full time for OCA, a leading virtual public school. During the 2009-2010 school year, she was an adjunct instructor for OCA, and she taught summer school. Prior to OCA, Nickles taught in a traditional classroom for seven years.

'I really enjoy teaching in the virtual environment because I have more one-on-one interactions with students and parents. I feel I know my students better and also their strengths and weaknesses,' said Nickles. 'Students are making significant gains in academic achievement through the individualized instruction and innovative use of technology. I am honored to achieve National Board Certification and illustrate the exceptional learning environment a virtual school provides.'

Nickles holds a M.A. from Muskingum University and a B.A. from The University of Akron.

About Ohio Connections Academy
Ohio Connections Academy delivers a personalized virtual public school education that combines state-certified teachers, a print-rich curriculum, technology tools and community experiences. Teachers develop a personalized learning plan for each student, deliver instruction, evaluate assignments and work directly with students via the phone and Internet. An adult Learning Coach assists the student in the home with day-to-day activities. Because it is a public school, there are no costs for tuition, fees or supplies. The school loans each family a computer, reimburses them for an Internet connection and provides all curriculum materials – including textbooks, workbooks and hands-on materials. For more information, visit www.OhioConnectionsAcademy.com or call 800–382–6010.

About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
NBPTS, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization, is in integral part of America's growing education reform movement. In developing, recognizing and retaining accomplished educators, NBPTS provides advanced standards, assessments and professional development resources to support educators at all stages of their professional growth; links subject-matter knowledge and effective teaching practices to student learning and achievement; and helps build and support school-based professional learning communities. Today, more than 91,000 National Board Certified Teachers are making a positive difference in the lives of students across the nation. For more information, visit www.nbpts.org.