North Carolina's public school classrooms have 1,244 teachers who are newly certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, according to results Wednesday from the national organization.
That brings North Carolina's total of National Board-certified teachers to 19,193 - the largest number of any state. North Carolina accounts for almost one-fifth of the country's total.
Wake County is the top district in the nation, with 2,194 National Board-certified teachers. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system is third with 1,854.
Across the nation, 6,266 teachers and counselors received certification this year, bringing the U.S. total to 97,291. Certification is considered the highest credential in the teaching profession.
The process is rigorous and voluntary. North Carolina teachers who achieve certification receive a salary supplement of 12 percent.