Arch Coal Names 12 West Virginia Recipients of Teacher Achievement Award

CHARLESTON, W.Va., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Twelve outstanding West Virginia classroom teachers today received prestigious Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards.

Joining Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer at the Capitol ceremony honoring the 12 teachers were Gov. Joe Manchin, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine and West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Charles Delauder.

    The 12 teachers are:

    Linda G. Boley           Meadow Bridge Elementary School  Meadow Bridge
    Kimberly Curry            Eastern Greenbrier Middle School  Ronceverte
    Melanie Rowe Davis       Ritchie County Middle School      Ellenboro
    Robin Michelle Ellis      Gilbert High School               Gilbert
    Gerry R. Kohler           VanDevender Junior High School    Parkersburg
    Jill Lemon                Braxton County High School        Sutton
    Cynthia A. Peel           Greenbrier Episcopal School       White Sulphur
                                                                 Springs
    Kimberly Shomo            Richmond ElementarySouth          Charleston
    Michelle Lynn Shomo       Montrose ElementarySouth          Charleston
    Jill Simmons Stemple      Rock Cave Elementary              Rock Cave
    Marcia Stengel            Jefferson High School             Shenandoah
                                                                 Junction
    Terilyn Barrett Wilson   Chapmanville Middle School       Chapmanville

"Classroom teaching excellence is not only to be admired, it is to be honored," said Leer. "Today's ceremony is as important for Arch Coal as it is for our recipients. Twenty-first century coal miners require extensive educations to have the skills necessary for success. Education is not just a building block for our future, it is the key stone.

"Every Arch Coal employee wants to thank these teachers and their many colleagues for their commitment and contributions to the children of West Virginia," Leer said. "The special teachers we honor today have a great deal of education, many years of experience, and a passion for their profession. Most importantly, each has made a positive difference in their classrooms."

"Teachers are the foundation on which education is built, and by recognizing these outstanding teachers each year, Arch Coal is helping to set the bar higher for our educators and build a stronger education system for West Virginia," said Gov. Manchin.

"Quality teaching is essential for better schools and student success," said Paine. "Educators like those being honored by Arch Coal give us great hope for the future of American education, and America's children. We are proud to salute these teachers for their vision and dedication to their profession."

"The WVEA is proud to honor these fine recipients," stated Delauder. "These individuals exemplify the hard working, dedicated professionals who fill the classrooms of schools across our state. They have truly made a difference in the lives of their students. The WVEA and its foundation, the West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education (WVFIE), are proud to team with Arch Coal and honor those who excel in the profession."

"The teacher achievement awards program provides a special way of thanking these exceptional classroom teachers," said John R. Snider, vice president, eastern external affairs, Arch Coal. "The judging was exceptionally close again this year, and it was rewarding to see through the judging process just how many excellent teachers work here in West Virginia."

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a personal, $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. Also, WVFIE provides public schools of the recipients with $1,000 grants for use with at-risk students.

Arch Coal is supported by the West Virginia Department of Education, WVEA and the West Virginia Library Commission in program promotion. Arch Coal's Teacher Achievement Awards is the longest running, privately sponsored teacher recognition program in the state. More than 400 nominations of the teachers were made by the public this school year. 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 is one of the nation's largest coal producers. 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.

Source: Arch Coal

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