March 05, 2007 at 11:59 AM EST
Arch Coal Teacher Recognition Program Names W.Va. Recipients; Each Receives $2,500 Personal Award

CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards were presented to 12 outstanding West Virginia classroom teachers today at the state capitol.

    The 12 are:

    Pattie Cowan            Liberty School                      Weirton
    Denise M. DeBiase       Mylan Park Elementary School        Morgantown
    Roy P. Harper           Moorefield Middle School            Moorefield
    Margaret Hunter         Williamstown Elementary School      Williamstown
    Sandra Ann Kraynok      Rock Cave Elementary School         Rock Cave
    Isaac Lee Lewis         Hampshire High School               Romney
    Darlene Miller Martin   Grafton High School                 Grafton
    Doug Martin             Mingo Career and Technical Center   Delbarton
    John M. Richmond        Hayes Middle School                 St. Albans
    Nancy S. Ryan           Hedgesville High School             Hedgesville
    Michael W. Stiles       Musselman High School               Inwood
    Paula D. White          Chapmanville High School            Chapmanville

The awards were presented by Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, accompanied by Arch Coal President and Chief Operating Officer John Eaves; Governor Joe Manchin III; First Lady Gayle Manchin; and WVEA President Charles Delauder.

"Our recipients have a great deal of enthusiasm and passion for their profession," said Leer. "I sincerely believe that our country's future is literally in their hands every day. Today's event is as important for us at Arch Coal as it is for our recipients. Education is not just a building block for our future, it is the cornerstone."

"It is indeed an honor to again be a part of the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards ceremony, which acknowledges and pays tribute to our educators who provide teaching excellence and outstanding leadership in and out of the classroom," said Gov. Manchin. "Daily, they are providing our students the encouragement and the inspiration to excel in the classroom and beyond. I especially appreciate that these teachers are engaging our students with 21st century skill strategies, enabling them to compete not only in West Virginia, but also in a global society."

"As an educator, I know firsthand that our state has a multitude of teachers and educational professionals that truly make a difference in the lives of West Virginia's children," said First Lady Manchin. "There is a commitment to excellence, a dedication to purpose and an unwavering devotion to the children themselves. I am awed by their ability to encourage, uplift, and inspire, through their actions and words, the motivation it takes for children to excel in the classroom and strive to reach for the stars. Thanks to the Arch Coal Foundation for recognizing and saluting these outstanding professionals."

"WVEA is proud to partner with Arch Coal in recognizing these 12 outstanding teachers," said Delauder. "Education is the key to West Virginia's future, and teachers throughout the state play a vital role in that process. The educators we honor today are an example of the fine men and women who teach our children each day. West Virginia is very fortunate to have so many highly skilled teachers in our classrooms. We are also fortunate to have companies, such as Arch Coal, that recognize the important role education and educators play in our future."

Leer also praised the West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education (WVFIE), a foundation operated by the West Virginia Education Association, which makes a $1,000 award to each recipient's school, for use with at-risk students. "The grant from WVFIE adds an important element to these awards," said Leer. "Each recipient's school is rewarded because of its award-winning teacher's special abilities."

Eaves thanked the recipients on behalf of the hundreds of Arch Coal employees in West Virginia. "We want to thank this year's teacher award recipients and their many colleagues for making our lives and those of our children better," Eaves said.

"Again this year, the judging was extremely close, and our judges had a very difficult time choosing these recipients," he added. "It is obvious that West Virginia is blessed with many excellent classroom teachers."

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque.

The teacher recognition awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and supported in program-promotion by the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia Library Commission. The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards is the longest running, privately sponsored teacher recognition program in the state. Nominations of the teachers are made by the public, and selection is made by a blue-ribbon panel of the teachers' peers -- previous recipients of the award.

Arch Coal, Inc. is the nation's second largest coal producer. The company's core business is providing U.S. power generators with clean-burning, low-sulfur coal for electric generation. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Information about each of the 12 recipients is posted on the Arch Coal Web site: http://www.archcoal.com.

Editor's note: Photography of the teacher awards ceremony will be available online at 300 dpi as soon after the event as possible. To access the site, please go to the Governor's photo gallery at http://www.wvgov.org/gallery.aspx.

Source: Arch Coal, Inc.

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