Educators in Region 7 Celebrated for National Board Certification

Kilgore, Texas – Region 7 Education Service Center proudly celebrated five exceptional educators across the region at a pinning ceremony on Tuesday, February 6. Damaris Nunez Correa of Center ISD, Bailee Smith of Joaquin ISD, Rachel McGinnis of Laneville ISD, Renee Ramsey of Lindale ISD, and Sandi Bristow of Palestine ISD all completed the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards coursework and became nationally recognized and certified in December 2023.


Damaris Nunez Correa is a bilingual kindergarten teacher at Center ISD. “I chose the certification to improve my skills and serve my bilingual community,” says Nunez Correa. “You learn a lot, you grow a lot, and your students will appreciate it.”


“She’s a hard worker! Very organized and very detail oriented; when she sets her mind on something, she does it wholly and completely,” says  F. L. Moffett Primary School Principal Brandy Bennefield.


Bailee Smith is a kindergarten – 2nd grade reading interventionist at Joaquin ISD. “I chose National Board Certification because I heard how hard it was, and I am one of those people that if you tell me something is impossible, I’m going to try it,” says Smith. “This was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was probably also one of the biggest rewards I’ll ever get.”


“She always does the best job, and it’s amazing to me how fast she can get jobs done,” says Joaquin Elementary Principal Bubba Carrington.


Rachel McGinnis is a reading, dyslexia, and ESL teacher and interventionalist for Laneville ISD. “I chose National Board Certification as a way to challenge myself,” says McGinnis. “It teaches you to be more reflective about your teaching, more intentional about your planning, and really dive into the data you get from your assessments.”


“The dedication she showed to complete the National Board certification demonstrates excellence in always continuing your education which rubs off on our students,” says Laneville Principal LaTara Waggoner.


Renee Ramsey is an English and US History teacher at Lindale ISD. “I learned a lot about myself as a teacher because every lesson that you create has to be looked at from several different lenses,” says Ramsey. “I think the whole experience will change your teaching forever. You will never approach your classroom the same way ever again.”


“Mrs. Ramsey is a phenomenal educator,” says Lindale High School Principal Jeremy Chilek. “She is very passionate about education.”


Sandi Bristow is a Career and Technical Education teacher at Palestine ISD. “I am always trying to learn something new, and with this new generation, I was hoping to learn how to reach out to them better in the classroom,” says Bristow. “National Board Certification impacted my teaching because it allowed me to quit looking at the classroom as a whole, and instead look at each child individually.”


“Mrs. Bristow is fabulous in the classroom, and her students love coming to her class,” says Palestine High School Principal Toscha Reeves. “We are so excited that we get the opportunity to celebrate her because she’s taken on this extra piece, and it brings a lot of recognition to our campus.”


The NBCT program is a two-year commitment to self-reflection and study of practice, with courses and assignments designed around components of the successful classroom — Differentiation in Instruction, Content Knowledge, Teaching Practice and Learning Environment, and Effective and Reflective Practitioner. Teachers who choose to participate in this voluntary certification program document their practices through rigorous reflection and analysis, and challenge themselves to improve their teaching skills, which in turn benefits their schools and their community.


For video footage, please visit For more information about the NBCT program, please visit


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