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Arch Coal Honors 12 West Virginia Teachers With Prestigious Awards

CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 9, 2010 -- Prestigious Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards were presented to 12 outstanding West Virginia classroom teachers today by the Arch Coal Foundation.

Announcement of the 12 teachers statewide receiving a 2010 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award was made by Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer. He was accompanied by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee and Dr. Steven Paine, state superintendent of schools.

The 12 teachers are:

    Melanie A. Donofe    Liberty Elementary School            Weirton
    Catherine L. Grim    Hurricane High School                Hurricane
    Carol Hamilton       Spring Mills Middle School           Martinsburg
    Anne E. Helmick      Paw Paw Elementary School            Paw Paw
    Lisa D. Kerns        Lumberport Middle School             Lumberport
    Joseph Kincaid       Poca High School                     Poca
    Greg Minter          Collins Middle School                Oak Hill
    Sandra Lee Shaw      Woodrow Wilson High School           Beckley
    David R. Stone       Fairplains Elementary School         Parkersburg
    Lynette Swiger       Monongah Elementary School           Monongah
    Sheila Kay Toth      Barrackville Elem/Middle School      Barrackville
    Mary Wright          Parkersburg High School              Parkersburg

"The world we live in is complex, ever-changing and challenging," said Leer. "The teachers we honor today enable students to succeed not just in the classroom, but also in the real world. These award recipients teach, inspire and love their students. What they accomplish each day helps keep America's future bright."

"The Arch Coal Teacher Awards ceremony has become an annual tradition that Gayle and I look forward to every spring," Gov. Manchin said. "Teachers who inspire, motivate and challenge their students are truly valuable to our state. Educators are responsible for shaping the minds of our future leaders, and I congratulate the teachers who are recognized this year. They are truly making a positive impact. I also applaud Arch Coal for being a great partner to the Mountain State and for recognizing our top educators every year."

"WVEA is pleased to again partner with Arch Coal for the Teacher Achievement Awards," stated Lee. "We value our relationship with Arch Coal, which understands the significance of teaching and the dedication of West Virginia's teachers to the academic success of their students. Arch Coal is to be commended for its willingness to create and finance a program to honor classroom teachers. WVEA thanks both Arch Coal and the outstanding teachers throughout the state of West Virginia for their commitment to public education."

"As educators, our challenge is to provide instruction that is not only relevant, engaging and meaningful, but also includes the world-class rigor necessary to prepare our students for life in the 21st century," said Paine. "The teachers honored by Arch Coal know that teaching students is no longer about how many facts can be memorized. Instead, it is about helping students learn to comprehend, problem-solve and communicate solutions."

In addition to recognition, awardees receive a $3,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of WVEA, makes a $1,000 award to each recipient's school, for use with at-risk students.

The teacher recognition awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and supported in program-promotion by the West Virginia Department of Education, the WVEA 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 are made by the public, and selection is made by a blue-ribbon panel of the teachers' peers - previous recipients of the award.

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

Arch Coal is the nation's second largest coal producer. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies the fuel for approximately 8 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. In West Virginia, Arch Coal subsidiaries operate the Mountain Laurel and Coal-Mac complexes. 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 to