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Arch Coal Foundation's Teacher Achievement Awards Program Kicks Off Ninth Year in Wyoming, Increases Award Amount

WRIGHT, Wyo. (Sept. 2, 2008) - The Arch Coal Foundation's prestigious Teacher Achievement Awards program has started its ninth year in Wyoming, according to Greg Schaefer, vice president of external affairs, western region, for Arch Coal, Inc.

Schaefer also announced that the foundation has increased the award for each recipient to $3,500, effective with the 2009 program year. The 10 recipients are expected to be named near the close of the 2008-2009 school year.

"Our foundation is looking for Wyoming's star teachers," said Schaefer. "These are the people who immediately come to mind when you think of teachers who have changed your life or a child's or friend's.

"Our teacher recognition awards are unique because we ask the public to nominate the best teachers in Wyoming," said Schaefer. "Then, prior recipients of the award serve as judges of their colleagues' applications. Nominated teachers are asked to complete an exhaustive application that must profile the applicant's teaching philosophy, classroom proficiency and community service.

"We make it easy for students, parents, grandparents, teachers - everyone - to tell us about our state's very best classroom teachers," said Schaefer. "Nomination forms are available in schools and libraries throughout the state, in Taco John's and Loaf 'N Jug locations, and nominations may be made online through the Wyoming Education Association Web site and at www.archteacherawards.com.

"The Wyoming Department of Education, Wyoming Education Association, Wyoming library community, Taco John's and Loaf 'N Jug stores have helped promote this program and have made nomination forms available at their locations," Schaefer said. "Arch Coal and the Arch Coal Foundation appreciate their invaluable assistance."

Schaefer said nominations will be accepted until Jan. 9, 2009, but that the earlier a teacher is nominated, the more time that teacher will have to complete the application.

The Arch Coal Foundation also is a supporter of teacher recognition or grant programs in West Virginia, Utah and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes.

Arch Coal is one of the nation's largest coal producers and employs approximately 1,200 people in Wyoming. Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine sells more than 90 million tons of cleaner 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.