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Award-winning Educator and Best-selling Author Helps People Join Teaching Profession

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 17, 2005) – When it comes to developing innovative ways to prepare potential teachers for their careers, Mike Kelley wrote the book on it. Literally.

A few weeks after he collected his hard-earned college degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, W. Michael Kelley dove right back into the classroom–as a math teacher. It was a good fit; during his five years at Northern High School in Owings, Maryland, Kelley was named Outstanding High School Mathematics Teacher by the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Outstanding Math Teacher by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.

Now, as the coordinator of preparation for the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (, he has dedicated his career to preparing enthusiastic and knowledgeable individuals for new careers as school teachers. Mike’s route to becoming a “teacher of teachers” at the American Board is unique. After seven years of algebra, calculus, track meets, and prom meetings, Kelley started a job at the University of Maryland-College Park helping professors incorporate technology in their classrooms.

He also followed his dream of becoming an author, writing the books Master The AP Calculus AB and BC Tests, CliffsQuickReview Precalculus, and three volumes in the well-known Complete Idiot’s Guide series (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Algebra, Precalculus, and Calculus). In fact, since his first publication in the summer of 2000, Kelley has sold over 100,000 copies of his books.

It was his third book, Rookie Teaching for Dummies, that caught the eye of Dr. Kathleen Madigan, President of the American Board and a nationally renowned teacher educator. Madigan purchased Mike’s book one day while browsing in a bookstore. Frustrated by its title, she intended to read it and write Kelley to express her disapproval. After all, she thought, the nation needs quality teachers – not “dummies” – in the classroom!

However, as she read the book, Madigan was reminded that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The humor-infused book provided rookie teachers with “everything I wished I knew in my first year as a teacher that no one ever told me,” according to its author. Pleasantly surprised by what she read, Madigan called Kelley. After weeks of discussions on the importance of teacher preparation, she offered him the position of coordinator of preparation at the American Board.

The American Board offers Passport to Teaching, a time-efficient and cost-effective teacher certification process designed to attract new passionate and talented individuals into the teaching profession.

“We help people become teachers,” Madigan said. “With Mike’s experience as an outstanding educator and his desire to help others, he is one of the greatest resources the American Board has.”

In his position, Kelley coordinates exam preparation for teacher candidates. He works with colleges and universities to establish classes that meet the certification’s rigorous standards, provides candidates with suggested study materials to help them prepare for certification exams, and creates other resources for candidate use.

“The most rewarding part of my job is being able to deliver information about sound teaching practices to people who want to be teachers,” Kelley said. “You can know all the theory in the world, but you can’t be an effective teacher if you don’t know the practical stuff as well.”

Kelley says that what he misses most from the classroom is making life easier for his students. However, through his six books and work at the American Board, this award-winning teacher and best-selling author is still doing just that. From providing high school students with tools to master mathematics to helping prepare potential teachers for the classroom, Mike Kelley continues to dedicate his life to educating others.

For more information, please contact: Andrew Campanella, Director of Communications Phone: 202-261-2634, Mobile: 202-246-2155 E-mail:

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence ( was created in 2001 to address the need for a highly qualified teacher in every American classroom. The American Board offers the rigorous, five-step Passport to Teaching certification process for knowledgeable and passionate individuals entering the teaching field.  Passport to Teaching offers individualized learning plans for teaching candidates to complement the knowledge and skills they have obtained through previous work experience.

The American Board is also developing a Master TeacherSM certification to recognize current teachers who significantly advance student achievement.  Master Teacher should be available in 2006.

The American Board is recognized as approved provider of teacher certification in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

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