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Majors & Degrees

DSU alumna earns top honor

November 24, 2015

Dakota State University is proud of our alumni. As we celebrate the accomplishments they have achieved, we also consider it a success for DSU. In fact, earlier this year a DSU College of Education graduate, Jodi Neugebauer ’08, earned her profession’s top honor as a National Board Certified Teacher for 2014, and we couldn’t be prouder.

Neugebauer, a 2nd grade teacher in Garretson, S.D., reflects on her achievement, “National Board Certification is a rigorous process that allowed me to analyze, reflect and truly understand my teaching practices. For that reason, I have improved as a teacher, as I am able to plan interdisciplinary units connecting numerous subjects together, which engages students and challenges them to a new understanding.”

Ever since Neugebauer was little, she’s loved learning and always wanted to become a teacher. Now that her dream has come true, she appreciates the opportunity to challenge her students while they learn and celebrate their accomplishments, together.

She explained, “There is no better moment than when a child understands something for the first time and the light bulb turns on as everything makes sense.”

As for her dream to become a teacher, Neugebauer chose DSU to pursue her degree “because of the excellent elementary and special education program available on the small campus located close to home.”

“I wanted a place where I could get to know my professors and get involved in my education,” she said. “I joined several different groups, which allowed me to challenge myself and grow in innovative ways.”

Including Neugebauer, a total of 106 National Board Certified Teachers reside in South Dakota.

“It is great to see one of our DSU College of Education graduates recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher,” stated Crystal Pauli, associate dean for the College of Education at DSU.

National Board Certification stands as one of the highest symbols of professional teaching excellence. The certification process takes one to three years to complete, in fact, Neugebauer completed it one year. While licensing standards set the basic requirements to teach in a state, National Board Certified teachers demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.