Monday, June 29, 2015

Meet Your ALNBCT Network Board of Directors: Valerie Johnson, 2nd Vice President

Valerie Johnson is a brand new principal at Semmes Middle School in Mobile, Alabama. She was a school counselor for thirteen years at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Before she became a school counselor, she taught music to elementary school students. She earned her administrative certification, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of South Alabama. Go Jags! 

Valerie attributes her knowledge and passion for improving student learning to her achievement of National Board Certification. She believes that becoming an NBCT was a turning point in her professional career because it afforded her countless opportunities to apply new teaching and counseling strategies and then analyze and reflect upon the effectiveness of those strategies. Valerie is a certified Candidate Support Provider for National Board candidates and works tirelessly in this capacity. She facilitates many candidate support workshops for candidates in Mobile and its surrounding areas. 

Valerie currently serves as the first vice president for the Alabama NBCT Network. She previously served as its Membership and Outreach chairperson. She appreciates being involved in this capacity because of the many connections with fellow and future NBCTs across the United States. She also enjoys meeting with various local, state and national educational leaders and legislators to promote National Board Certification. 

Valerie is married and has two sons. She enjoys traveling, cooking, shopping, and is an avid exerciser.

To view biographies of other board members, please select the Board of Directors tab at the top of the page.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Countdown to EdcampNBCT

The countdown is on for EdcampNBCT, which is sure to be an exciting and fun day of connecting, collaborating, sharing, and learning from one another. What makes Edcamp unique is that it is participant driven; no formal schedule is set before Edcamp begins. You decide what you want to learn and what you would like to discuss. 

Each one of us has something unique we can bring to the Edcamp table to share with others. We invite you to bring questions, ideas, projects, and an open-mind to new ideas. Unlike formal professional development activities that tend to be sit-and-get, Edcamp sessions are conversations on topics of interest to the participants. Edcamp presenters facilitate conversations on a topic of mutual interests. Each person in a discussion is encouraged to share their ideas, ask questions, and actively participate in the dialogue.

We are currently sold out with a waiting list. If you are unable to attend, please log into Eventbrite and cancel your ticket so that someone else can attend in your place. If you have difficulty cancelling your ticket, please email us at  You may add your name to the waiting list by visiting

We look forward to seeing you soon! 

P.S. Be sure to stay connected with us:
Twitter and Instagram: @alnbctnetwork
Alabama NBCT Network Facebook page
Hosted by Alabama NBCT Network
Friday, July 10, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (CDT)
Rock Quarry Middle School, 2100 Rock Quarry Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406  |  Directions

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Meet Your ALNBCT Network Board of Directors: Cara Whitehead, 1st Vice President

Cara Whitehead is the Instructional Specialist at Corley Elementary School in Boaz, Alabama.  Prior to that, she was the Instructional Partner at John S. Jones Elementary School and Rainbow Middle School in Rainbow City, Alabama.  Previously, she was a  4th grade teacher, technology coordinator, and webmaster at Carlisle Elementary School in Boaz, Alabama, where she was part of the faculty since 1997.  In 2009, she became a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Literacy: Reading/Language Arts.  Cara serves as 1st Vice President of the Alabama National Board Certified Teachers Network and has been a member of the board of directors since 2012.  

Recently, Cara graduated from The University of Alabama with as an Educational Specialist (Ed.S) in Educational Leadership.  She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands.  Also, Cara is an alumnus of Jacksonville State University.  She holds certification in the areas of Instructional Leadership, Early Childhood Education, and Elementary Education.  
Cara has had multiple opportunities to present at the district, state, and national levels in the areas of technology and literacy.  Aside from teaching, Cara works as a social media consultant with the educational website, VocabularySpellingCity.  Throughout the years, she has worked with Promethean as a member of the Social Media Council and is a certified Promethean ActivInstructor.  As an avid blogger ( and Twitterer (@whiteheadsclass), she knows the importance of collaboration with other educators.  Cara’s classroom was deemed a model classroom to host teachers to view and discuss small group and differentiated instruction.  She is a member of Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), and Alabama Educational Technology Association (AETA). Some of her honors include Top Elementary Teacher on Twitter, Top Fifty School Technology Blogs, Carlisle Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year, and membership into the UA Omicron Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Lambda. 

To view biographies of other board members, please select the Board of Directors tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The Alabama NBCT Network asks you to join in their fundraising efforts by purchasing an #‎NBCTStrong‬  shirt. This shirt will display your pride, dedication, and hard work that makes you an amazing National Board Certified Teacher. The money earned will help us help support Alabama's teachers and students through conferences, NBCT recruitment and candidate support, and advocacy. We are offering this shirt in several colors, styles, and cuts. Please visit to place your order. Thank you for your help!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet Your ALNBCT Network Board of Directors: Julie D. Ramsay, Legislature & Partnership Liaison

When she was in fifth grade, Julie D. Ramsay decided that she wanted to become a teacher when she sat in class and struggled to understand what her teacher refused to explain. She vowed that no student should ever have to sit in another classroom and feel that frustration. After 21 years in the classroom, Julie is passionate about reaching each individual student, wherever they are in their learning journey, whatever challenges they may face. Currently, she teaches sixth graders English language arts and reading at Rock Quarry Middle School in Tuscaloosa.

A graduate of the University of Montevallo and Walden University, educational writer, International Literacy Association columnist, international presenter, blogger, and author of Can We Skip Lunch and Keep Writing? Collaborating in Class and Online. Julie became board certified as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2007. She joined the Alabama NBCT Network board in 2010 in the role of vice-president and became the network's president in 2015. For the last four years, Julie has actively advocated at the local, state, and national level for high quality education for each and every student.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Are You Joining Us for EdcampNBCT?

EdcampNBCT is taking place on Friday, July 10, 2015, at Rock Quarry Middle School in Tuscaloosa, AL.  We will be joined by NBCTs and candidates from Alabama and surrounding states.  It will be a great day of professional learning and networking. 

An edcamp is different from a traditional conference where there is a set schedule of sessions for you to choose from before arriving for the event. The schedule is completely built by participants. It will be a phenomenal day of learning and connecting between NBCTs and candidates.

Since the big day is a little more than a month away, we'd like to share a few tips for making the most of your Edcamp experience. 

1.  THE LEARNING IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.  Come to EdcampNBCT ready to share your ideas, ask questions, and participate in conversations with colleagues who want to learn alongside you.  Participants will make the session schedule on the morning of the event.  YOU get to decide what you want to learn and what you want to share, so be brave, and forget about those "presenter" and "participant" labels.  We are all learners at Edcamp!   

2.  VOTE WITH YOUR FEET.  We're not kidding about this one.  If you feel like a session isn't meeting your needs, hop up and find a new one. This is a cornerstone of the Edcamp model, and we expect you to take advantage of it as needed in order to make the most of your time. 
3.  SHARE YOUR LEARNING.  We're already using the hashtag #EdcampNBCT to get the discussion going.  Tweet what you learn, Instagram your session experiences, add your notes to a shared Google Doc, and connect with other participants.

As many of you are planning on hitting the road to attend Edcamp, we wanted to share some options for overnight accommodations: 

  1. Embassy Suites: 2410 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 (205) 561-2500
  2. Hampton Inn: 600 Harper Lee Drive, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35401205- 553-9800  
  3. Home 2 Suites: 2610 University Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 (205) 349-2002
Stay connected with us on Twitter or Instagram (@alnbctnetwork), our blog ( , or our Alabama NBCT Network Facebook page. If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email ( 

If you have not registered, you may do so at We are close to capacity on our tickets.  Once they are gone, we do have a waiting list available that would make you first in line if more tickets become available.  We can't wait to see you on July 10!

The Edcamp NBCT Team 

Monday, June 1, 2015

How is an Edcamp different?

An edcamp is different from a traditional professional learning event. This video does a great job explaining the basic edcamp model:

Of course, Edcamp NBCT will focus on topics that are of specific interest to NBCTs and candidates. If you haven't taken time to register, do so quickly. EdcampNBCT is free, but tickets are limited...and going quickly.  See you July 10th!