News & Media

Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards Presented to 10 Wyoming Educators

April 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

CHEYENNE (April 29, 2009) - Ten outstanding classroom teachers today received the coveted Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award during a ceremony at Buffalo Ridge Elementary School in Cheyenne.

Announcement of the award recipients was made by Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, who was joined by Governor Dave Freudenthal, First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride and Wyoming Education Association Vice President Craig Williams.

The 2009 recipients are:

Jennet L. Ballinger Dubois Middle School Dubois
Olive M. Baum Douglas Primary School Douglas
John R. Broda Buffalo Ridge Elementary School Cheyenne
Melanie Kay Howlett Starrett Junior High School Lander
Tamra DeRudder Jackson Cody High School Cody
Joan James University of Wyoming Lab School Laramie
Christy Mathes Sage Valley Junior High Gillette
Carl Raymond Romanowski Rock Springs High School Rock Springs
Bernie Schnorenberg Sundance High School Sundance
Rachel Schroder Tongue River High School Dayton

"Our nation looks to Wyoming as its major source of energy production," said Leer. "As one of the state's major coal companies, we look to Wyoming's schools for the quality employees we need for a smart, efficient and safe workforce. We salute these fine educators and celebrate their many classroom successes.

"These teachers are our stars," he added. "They not only teach, but also inspire, advise and care for their students. They are valued members of their school faculties and their entire communities."

"When I think back on who influenced me the most early on, it is teachers who come to mind. My parents told me I was going to go to college, but it was my teachers who convinced me I could," said Gov. Freudenthal. "As I travel around the state, I continue to be impressed by the quality of Wyoming's teachers. I want to congratulate each of this year's winners. The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award is one of the top honors a Wyoming educator can receive, and it confirms the great job being done by these very talented people."

"Wyoming is fortunate to have dedicated, skilled and enthusiastic teachers," said First Lady Freudenthal. "I appreciate companies like Arch Coal, which recognize their efforts."

"Arch Coal has once again gone above and beyond to recognize the value of Wyoming educators," said Williams. "We are proud of our relationship with Arch Coal and praise it for recognizing these outstanding teachers who exemplify the great education that occurs every day in schools throughout Wyoming."

"Wyoming is very fortunate in that it has great teachers who love what they do and are committed to our children," Dr. McBride said. "I wish we could recognize every excellent teacher in Wyoming.

"Thanks to the generosity of Arch Coal, we are able to recognize a number of them every year," he added. "This is a great program. It gives us an opportunity to tell our teachers thanks for the great work you do and that we appreciate your time and dedication."

The award is underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation. In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a personal, $3,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. Nominations of the teachers are made by the public, and selection is made by a blue-ribbon panel of the teachers' peers, all former recipients of the Arch Coal award.

This is the ninth year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Wyoming. The program is supported by the Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, Taco John's, Loaf 'N Jug, and the Wyoming library community.

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 its Thunder Basin Coal Company subsidiary employs more than 1,200 people in Wyoming. Thunder Basin's Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines sold 100 million tons of cleaner-burning, low-sulfur coal in 2008. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Information about each of the 10 recipients is posted on the Arch Coal Web site: