A Garden City teacher was one of 3,900 teachers across the country to earn the highest professional credential available: first-time certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Melissa Hensley teaches agriscience at Garden City High School and earned her certification in career and technical education/early adolescence through young adulthood, according to a press release.

National board certification is recognized nationwide as a model for identifying accomplished teaching practice, according to the release. Before certification, teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, a valid state teaching license and three years of experience in the classroom. Teachers were notified in December if they achieved the certification.

Kansas currently has 449 national board certified teachers. To date, more than 122,000 teachers in all 50 states are NBCTs, according to the release.