Seven teachers in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have received National Board certification.

The teachers, who were recognized at the Board of Education meeting February 21st, include:

— Anne Keller from Malibu High School, who has been teaching for 36 years;

— Judith Anderson at Lincoln Middle School;

— Martha Diaz Chacon from Santa Monica High School, who has been teaching for nine years;

— Margo Dunn from Point Dume Marine Science School, who has been teaching for 19 years;

Katie Jaroch from Lincoln Middle School, who has been teaching for eight years;

— Laila Taslimi from McKinley Elementary School, who has been teaching for ten years; and

— Geoff Tipper from Santa Monica High School, who has been teaching for eight years.

Although support for this process varies nationally, the district has offered support to its candidates by reimbursing them for all application fees, providing one-on-one support from current National Board-certified teachers, providing substitute days while working on the process, and a monetary reimbursement for supplies when they complete the process.

When the teachers achieve certification, the district offers a stipend for the ten years teachers are certified in return for service hours in the area of Professional Development for colleagues.

Currently, the district has 50 National Board Certified Teachers, six of whom are now administrators.

The National Boards for the Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-governmental organization governed by a board of directors, with the majority of its members being classroom teachers.

National Board Certification is a symbol of professional teaching excellence, district officials said. It was created so that teachers, like professionals in other fields, can achieve distinction by demonstrating through a demanding performance assessment, that they meet high and rigorous standards of accomplished teachers, district officials said.

Teachers must demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a series of performance-based assessments that include student work samples, videotapes and rigorous analysis of their classroom teaching and student learning. Written exercises probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.

In California, 250 teachers achieved certification this year, for a total of 3,878, which helped make California fourth in the nation in the overall total of National Board-certified teachers.