(SPRINGFIELD, Ky.) – Shanna Hale, an MSD special education teacher at Washington County Middle School and Jennifer Johnson, an English/Language Arts and Math Enrichment teacher at North Washington Middle School have earned National Board Certification, according to an announcement from Dr. J. Robin Cochran, Superintendent. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was installed in 1987 as the teaching occupation’s means for defining and recognizing accomplished teaching.

Hale is a 1998 graduate of McCreary Central High School. In 2005, she received a dual certification bachelor’s degree in special education, learning and behavior disorders and elementary education from the University of Kentucky. She earned a master’s degree in teacher leader in special education, learning and behavior disorders in 2012 from Campbellsville University. She is currently pursuing a Rank I in special education, moderate and severe disabilities from Georgetown College, which she expects to complete in 2020. She has been teaching for 11 years and is in her third year in Washington County.

WCMS teacher Shanna Hale

Shanna Hale


Hale says she wanted to pursue National Board Certification to push herself to be a better teacher. “I wanted to improve my skill, both for myself and for my students,” she said. “National Board Certification was a great opportunity to learn more so I could do more. I love so many things about teaching. I love the moment when a student who you have seen struggle with a concept finally gets it. I love developing bonds with students that they remember years later when I haven’t been their teacher for a long time. I love knowing that even though it may have just been one student, one time, that I might have had an impact on them in a positive way.”

“We feel very fortunate to have Mrs. Hale on our staff,” says WCMS principal Ty Howard. “She is very professional, knows her content and is great with students. We congratulate her on this accomplishment.”

Johnson is a 1991 graduate of Madison Southern High School. She received a Bachelor of Education in middle school English and math in 2005 from the University of Kentucky, and a Master of Arts in Education with reading and writing endorsement in 2012 from Georgetown College. She has been teaching for 14 years and is in her second year in Washington County. Johnson says she chose to strive for the certification because she always wants to get better in her profession. “I love to explore and try new ideas, especially regarding ways to best meet the needs of my students,” she said. “My students and I have also benefited from collaboration of ideas and reflections about strategies and activities. I love my kids, but I also love that I can share my passion for a variety of authors and stories as well as teach them valuable strategies to help them improve as writers.”

NWMS teacher Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson


Amanda M. Mattingly, principal of NWMS, says she is extremely proud of Johnson’s accomplishments. “She has shown true commitment to professional learning and a genuine drive to continuously improve the instruction she provides to her students. I admire her passion and excitement that she brings with her to our school every single day. We are fortunate to have her on our team.”

Cochran said the district was very proud of Hale and Johnson. “Both are model teachers that believe in continued professional learning to better their practices and in turn positively impact student achievement.  We are so excited that our students are able to experience top notch instruction on a day to day level.  The amount of time and level of commitment each of these ladies have shown is to be commended and is an excellent example of Commanding Excellence for All!”