Twenty Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District teachers have earned their National Board Certifications, which are the highest credentials in the teaching profession.

The percentage of district teachers getting national certifications this year surpasses the national average.

The school district now employs 45 nationally certified teachers.

State certification is mandatory for teachers, but national certification is voluntary, and teachers who want a national certificate spend one to three years in programs that evaluate their skills by using rigorous and performance-based assessment.

Nationally certified teachers demonstrate their dedication to the profession with activities inside and outside the classroom that improve student achievement.

Teachers in the district who received national certifications this year are:

Sylvia Jiminez, Linda Beasley and Lori Orum from Edison Elementary School;

Tracy Levin from John Adams Middle School;

Lisa Bartoli from Franklin Elementary School;

Cindy Thatcher from Will Rogers Elementary School;

Amy Bisson, Adrienne Karyadi, LaSonya Roberts and Rob Thais from Santa Monica High School;

LaShawn Moore from McKinley Elementary School;

Stephanie Gross from Lincoln Middle School;

Staci Erlandson from Roosevelt Elementary School;

Wendy Berman from Webster Elementary School;

Jill Matthews, Susan Scheer and Cindy Weinstock from Cabrillo Elementary School;

Anna DeShautelle from Malibu High School; and

Kelly Didion and Cindy Johnson from Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School.