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Arch Coal, Inc. Announces Teacher Achievement Award Recipients in Wyoming

Casper - May 11, 2001 - In a ceremony today at McKinley Elementary School, surrounded by hundreds of children, 10 teachers from around the state received an Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Award.

Arch Coal Vice President Terry O’Connor was joined in honoring the teachers by Governor Jim Geringer, State Superintendent of Schools Judy Catchpole and Wyoming Education Association President Gary McDowell. Each teacher received a $2,500 cash award, in addition to two awards that showcase his or her accomplishment.

The 10 are:

  • Marianne Baysinger; Pronghorn Elementary; Gillette
  • Dona Lamb Coffey; Beitel Elementary; Laramie
  • Eugene M. Gagliano; Meadowlark Elementary; Buffalo
  • Steve Lawrence; Geology teacher; Green River High School
  • Cristina Lynn Olsen, McKinley Elementary School; Casper
  • Peter B. Swanson; a teacher of Spanish; Worland High School
  • Kyle B. Walker; Pinedale Elementary School
  • Cheryll LaNell Westcott; North Casper Elementary School.
  • Mary Ann Wilcox; history and government teacher; Rock Springs High School, and
  • Michelle Woodruff; North Elementary School; Lander.

“This is a significant award, which Arch has established in Wyoming,” said O’Connor. “Each recipient had to be nominated by someone in the public - a student, parent of a student, colleague or someone else from the general public who recognized teaching excellence. Then, each nominated teacher was required to complete a grueling self-examination of his or her teaching abilities and philosophy. Finally, teachers’ peers selected the top 10 recipients. These are the 10 teachers we honor here today.”

“This achievement award demonstrates our appreciation for Wyoming’s quality teachers, who, as current research shows, have the greatest influence on student learning above all factors,” Geringer said. “I compliment Arch Coal for taking the initiative to become more involved in education, and I encourage other businesses to do the same.”

“Through this achievement award, Arch Coal is helping us call attention to the outstanding work of Wyoming teachers,” Catchpole said. “Truly, the classroom teacher is the one who makes a difference in the lives and learning of our students.” “These teachers exemplify the quality of education that is occurring throughout Wyoming. We are very proud to have partnered with Arch Coal in this effort. It is uplifting to have members from the business community step forward and acknowledge the value of education,” said McDowell.

“Arch Coal believes that our future is found everyday in our state’s classrooms ¾ our children,” said O’Connor. “Every day we entrust our children to people who will encourage them, enlighten them, and, we trust, make our children lifelong lovers of learning. There is no more important job in America than that of a teacher.”

“The judging in this, our first year for the awards in Wyoming, was extremely difficult,” O’Connor added. “It was apparent that Wyoming has more than its share of excellent teachers. In fact, these top 10 teachers were separated from many of their colleagues who completed applications by little more than fractions of a point. We look forward to continuing this teacher recognition program in the coming school year so that we might recognize more outstanding Wyoming teachers.”

Arch Coal began the program after the start of school last year. Nomination forms were sent to each public and private school, were available at participating sponsors Mini Mart and Taco Johns, and also were available on the Internet. More than 500 separate nominations were received from throughout the state.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer. The company employs approximately 600 people at its operations in Wyoming, where it produces over 60 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal each year. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and makes its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.