Arch Coal Achievement Awards Given to Five Utah Teachers

RICHFIELD, Utah, May 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Five outstanding area classroom teachers received Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards today at a ceremony at Ashman Elementary.

In addition to Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, State School Board Member Dixie Allen, and Utah Education Association Vice President Ellen Thompson were on hand to honor the recipients. The teacher recognition program is in its first year in Utah. Teachers from Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties were eligible for the award.

    The five recipients are:

    Rodney Hurd               North Sevier High School            Salina
    Leslie Jewkes             Castle Heights Elementary School    Price
    Stacey A. Rasmussen       Spring City Elementary School       Spring City
    Sue Southwick             Ashman Elementary School            Richfield
    Elaine B. Street          Richfield High School               Richfield

"I am very pleased to announce these five recipients," said Leer. "They are obviously superior classroom teachers who deserve this recognition. They are masters of their subject matter, highly competent in their teaching techniques, and caring individuals who place student learning first.

"Arch Coal employees from our Sufco, Skyline and Dugout Canyon operations join me in saluting these teachers who are making a difference in our schools," Leer said. "As a corporation, we value excellence in everything we do. It is natural that we would carry this over into the communities in which we live. Certainly, teachers have one of the most important jobs in America, and we are proud to honor these five recipients."

"It is my belief that parents -- a child's first teachers -- and the teachers that influence that child subsequently are more important to cultivating our civilization than any leader of any nation," said Allen. "Educating children so that they become contributing citizens of the world will indeed affect our future profoundly."

"Someone once said, 'To teach is to touch a life forever.' It is clear that these talented educators have touched many lives, and the children of these communities are better prepared to meet the future because of their dedication and hard work," said Ellen Thompson, vice president of the Utah Education Association.

The awards program 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 teacher recognition program is unique because it asks the public to nominate excellent classroom teachers and then has a panel of the teachers' peers serve as judges," according to Ken May, general manager of the Sufco mine. "According to the judges, determining the five recipients was extremely difficult because there were many excellent applicants.

"What do classroom teachers and a coal company have in common?" asked May at the ceremony. "The answer is 'students.' Great classroom teachers give business and industry great employees. Arch Coal needs employees who are able to think independently, speak, write and calculate effectively, and know how to work safely for themselves and their co-workers. Outstanding teachers also provide our communities with leaders, our families with good mothers and fathers, and our country with good citizens."

The second annual Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards program will begin with the start of the next school year, according to May.

The program is supported by the Office of Governor Huntsman, Utah State Office of Education, Utah Education Association, Utah School Superintendents Association, Carbon County School District, Emery County School District, Sevier County School District, North Sanpete School District, South Sanpete School District, Far West Bank, Market Express, KUSA FM/ KASL AM, and both TacoTime and Bookcliff Sales in Price.

Arch Coal is Utah's largest coal producer and a large, state employer with a combined workforce of approximately 800 from its Dugout Canyon, Sufco and Skyline mines. Through all its operations, Arch Coal, Inc. is among the nation's largest coal producers. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Source: Arch Coal

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