Wyoming Teachers Receive Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards

CHEYENNE, Wyo., May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ten excellent Wyoming classroom teachers received Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards today at a ceremony at Afflerbach Elementary School.

In addition to Arch Coal Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, Governor Dave Freudenthal and First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride, and Wyoming Education Association President Kathryn Valido honored the recipients.

     The 10 recipients are:

     Deborah F. Adema           Hulett High School               Hulett
     Maria Rose Foster          Afflerbach Elementary School     Cheyenne
     Eva Marie Lamp             Kemmerer Elementary School       Diamondville
     Juanita Sue Mair           Mountain View Middle School      Mountain View
     Mark A. Nethercott         Star Valley High School          Afton
     Christopher James Shoults  Torrington High School           Torrington
     Terri Stegelman            Wapiti Elementary School         Cody
     Kathy Lynn Walsh           Slade Elementary School          Laramie
     Mary Ann Wilson            Dildine Elementary School        Cheyenne
     Karen Lynn Zahn            Farson-Eden Middle School        Farson

"We entrust classroom teachers with one of America's greatest responsibilities -- not just the instruction of our youth, but the creation of excitement for learning," said Leer. "These Wyoming teachers exemplify their profession's best attributes and more.

"In seven years, Arch Coal has honored 70 outstanding Wyoming teachers," Leer said. "The dedication, professionalism and expertise of each of them is mirrored in the 10 we honor today. What is even more exciting, according to the governor and superintendent of public instruction, is that these recipients represent just the 'tip of the iceberg.' Wyoming has many more excellent classroom teachers who deserve public recognition in future years."

"The recipients of this year's Arch Coal Teacher Awards are some of the state's most talented and dedicated educators," said Gov. Freudenthal. "As the world changes, so do the demands on our young people to be prepared with the appropriate skills for the future. Frankly, I think these men and women are doing an excellent job inspiring the children of Wyoming to be well-equipped intellectually to enter college and the workforce."

"We all remember our favorite teachers -- the ones that cared about, challenged and inspired us," said First Lady Freudenthal. "Looking back, we know that these are also the teachers who best prepared us for life beyond the classroom. Dave and I are pleased to join Arch Coal in recognizing the daily, invaluable contributions that these educators make toward Wyoming's future."

"I am so pleased that Arch Coal has recognized these outstanding educators in Wyoming," said Dr. McBride. "Teachers are among the most influential people in a child's life and it's important that we take the time to honor them for their hard work and dedication to our students.

"It's through excellent partnerships with respected businesses like Arch Coal that we are able to acknowledge the great work of our teachers and other education professionals," Dr. McBride said. "I want to thank Arch Coal for its commitment to being a contributing member of the community, and I hope we will continue our relationship far into the future."

"Having just come from the classroom, I know how much teachers appreciate recognition from the community," said Valido. "The Arch Coal Teacher Awards is one of the premier awards in Wyoming, and I have seen first hand the positive impact this award has on teachers and, ultimately, their students."

The Arch Coal teacher recognition program is unique because it asks for the public to nominate excellent classroom teaches and then has a panel of peers -- former award recipients -- serve as judges of the teachers' applications. According to Greg Schaefer, Arch Coal vice president of external affairs, determining the 10 recipients was extremely difficult because there were many high-quality applications.

"I hope that Wyoming citizens continue to nominate outstanding classroom teachers for the Arch Coal recognition program," said Schaefer. "Our teachers deserve respect and positive reinforcement for the important work they do across the state."

The award is underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation. In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500, unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque.

This is the seventh year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Wyoming. The program is supported by the Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, Taco John's, Loaf 'n Jug, and the Wyoming library community.

Arch Coal is one of the nation's largest coal producers and employs more than 1,200 people in Wyoming. Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine sells more than 90 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal on an annual basis. Located in Campbell County, Black Thunder mine is one of the largest and most efficient coal mines in the world. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Information about each of the 10 recipients is posted on Arch Coal's Web site: http://www.archteacherawards.com .

Source: Arch Coal

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