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Middle School Teacher Achieves National Board Certification

December 17, 2019 by Elaine Rottman

Ms. Carri SvobodaCarri Svoboda is a first-rate, top-notch, high-caliber middle school teacher. After more than 25 years in the profession—and a position at Providence School as the eighth-grade English teacher since 2000—she found herself “at a place where I could stagnate and coast and no one would know the difference.” She asked herself, “ Is that who I want to be? Is that what I ask of my students? I am growing and learning in other areas of my life, shouldn’t I seek the same thing in my profession?” 

Thus began her three-year quest to become a National Board Certified Teacher in the focus area of English language arts for early adolescent students. She was awarded this elite status in early December 2019. 

National Board certification is awarded only to those teachers who complete “a performance-based, peer-reviewed process demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement,” according to information supplied by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. For Ms. Svoboda, that process involved taking classes at UCLA, submitting three separate portfolios of work, and passing tests in four different areas of teaching and the discipline of language arts. 

“It was a fabulous process,” said Svoboda, “I enjoyed the classes so much and I am sad it is over.” 

Providence’s Ms. Svoboda is truly one of a kind. In the Santa Barbara Unified School District boundaries only one other person is a National Board Certified Teacher in English language arts for ages 11–15—and that teacher is no longer active in the classroom. 

While the certification is a feather in Svoboda’s cap, the real beneficiaries are Providence eighth-grade students. Influenced by her UCLA classes and interactions with peers, Ms. Svoboda sets clear goals and objectives for each individual student, differentiating the instructional approach to help each one succeed. “I believe each kid is gifted in their own way,” she said, “and that is a reflection of the Body of Christ.” 

Even with the National Board certification achievement, there will be no coasting for Ms. Svoboda, who is on a lifelong quest to continue to develop as a professional and a person. 

Dr. Tim Loomer, interim head of school at Providence, said, “Carri Svoboda’s dedication to student success and proven ability in the classroom has a profound impact on our students each and every day and will have a ripple effect on Providence School and the Santa Barbara community for years to come.”  


Get to know Carri Svoboda and why she has such a profound impact on her students.