Every student deserves to be taught by an accomplished teacher. National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.

Illinois State Board of Education is pleased to announce the $1,900 National Board Candidate Fee Subsidy application will be available for Illinois teachers and counselors wishing to pursue National Board Certification beginning the 2024-25 school year. Applications in August! Additionally, many districts in the state of Illinois offer incentives for educators once they obtain certification. 

There are two PE certificate areas and one health certificate area:
The Early and Middle Childhood/Physical Education certificate is appropriate for teachers of students ages 3–12 who teach physical education programs.

The Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood/Physical Education certificate is appropriate for teachers of students ages 11–18+ who teach physical education programs.

The Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood/Health Education certificate is appropriate for teachers of students ages 11–18+. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has developed 11 Standards of accomplished practice for health education teachers. They each describe an important facet of accomplished teaching; they often occur concurrently because of the seamless quality of teaching.

View more information about the process. Please email National Board Director Amy Smith at assmith3@ilstu.edu for more information.

Reasons to Certify

There are many reasons to become board-certified. Teachers who have gone through the Board certification process say that it is the most valuable and transformative professional development they have ever received. The opportunity to connect professional learning with classroom practice brings to life a teacher’s experience, helping them reflect on individual student learning needs.

  • Students learn more. A decade of research shows that students of Board-certified teachers learn more than their peers without Board-certified teachers. Studies have also found that the positive impact of having a Board-certified teacher is even greater for minority and low-income students.
  • Teachers improve their practice. Board Certification allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom and demonstrate their dedication to their students and their profession.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to excellence. Schools with National Board Certified Teachers are characterized by better teacher morale and retention and increased community involvement.
  • Board Certification teachers are often given opportunities to have an impact way beyond their individual classrooms.
  • Because Board-certified teachers are recognized as experts, they are often sought out for leadership positions in their schools and districts.
  • Illinois—and countless districts—offer free support, conditional loans and/or salary incentives to encourage teachers to pursue and achieve National Board Certification.
  • Illinois counts Board certification towards state licensure, renewal or step increase.

What support is available?

Fee Support

Up to 750 first-time candidates in high-need schools and 250 teachers in other schools can receive a $1,900 subsidy for their application fee. Renewal candidates can receive a $1,000 subsidy.

The funds, appropriated by the Illinois legislature, are administered through the National Board Resource Center at Illinois State University and are available to qualified candidates on a first-come, first-served basis. More information is available on the National Board Resource Center website.

Renewal candidates ineligible for the $1,000 state subsidy are to contact the NBRC Director Kris Mason kamason5@ilstu.edu to discuss the availability of a secondary funding source.

Illinois also offers statewide support for teachers interested in pursuing National Board Certification through a partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education and the National Board Resource Center at Illinois State University. NBRC offers resources to candidates through all stages of the National Board Certification process.

For Candidate Support and Subsidy Assistance - Illinois State University Amy Smith- Director, National Board Resource Center assmith3@ilstu.edu

Chicago Teachers Union – Nurturing Teacher Leadership. This program, a partnership between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, offers mentoring and support for Chicago Public Schools teachers and charter school teachers interested in National Board Certification. NTL works with candidates at all levels of the National Board Certification process: pre-candidacy, initial candidacy, renewal, and advanced candidacy. Recruitment for the 2020-2022 cohort will begin in late October. For more information, contact Lynn Cherkasky-Davis at LynnCherkasky-Davis@ctuf.org.

 Need more information, assistance or are looking for a National Board Mentor

Please Contact:

Katrina Haynes – IAHPERD NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON Khaynes2330@gmail.com – National Board Certified PE Teacher since 2014

National Board Standards

Choose from the following documents to download that are outlining the standards and steps to certification.

Health Education 

Physical Education

National Board News
You Need to Know!

Congratulations to all National Board Certified HPE Teachers!!

Initial and Maintenance of Certificate candidate scores were released on Saturday, December 9, 2023. Congrats to all the newly certified teachers and those who renewed their certificates! IAHPERD would like to congratulate the following distinguished Illinois Physical Education Teacher Michael Gillespie from River Forest School District 90 who obtained his National Board Certification! 


National Board Certification Spring/Fall Subsidy Window Change 

The NBRC is moving from two first-time Illinois candidate fee subsidy registration windows to one for the next fiscal year FY25. It will open August 1, 2024, and close September 22, 2024. More information will be available in the summer on the National Board Resource webpage: https://nbrc.illinoisstate.edu/  Any Health or Physical Education teachers interested in pursuing National Board Certification are encouraged to apply. We will update this page with the application when it goes live!

Free National Board Webinars Available 

There are upcoming free webinars for those who are thinking about starting the process, for those beginning the process, specific instructional strategies as well as informational webinars about specific parts of the National Board process. You can find a list of upcoming and previously recorded webinars at: https://www.nbpts.org/support/webinars/


Keep State Legislators Informed about the Importance of National Board Certification 

A reminder that the budget that funds our National Board program is approved annually by our state legislators. The NBRC reminds you that if you received the subsidy for your NB fees for Maintenance of Certification this year, please thank your state legislator. Use https://openstates.org/ to locate contact information for your local legislators. They can’t support what they do not know about – let them know how much becoming an NBCT has meant to you in your career and to the students of Illinois. #NBRCNBCTProud 

Save the Date - National Board Academy

 The National Board Academy is back this June 24-27. Our free, 3-day virtual conference is open to all educators and includes a bonus on the 4th day focused on National Board candidacy! We invite you to Connect, Reflect, Reimagine through sessions on equity-focused change, teacher leadership and advocacy, and info on pursuing National Board certification. Mark your calendars and stay tuned!

P.O. Box 865
Alton, IL 62002
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