|Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards Given to 10 West Virginia Educators|
WVFIE Adds $1,000 Grants to Recipients' Schools
Charleston (Feb. 25, 2004) - The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award was given to 10 West Virginia teachers today at a ceremony at the Cultural Center at the state Capitol.
Each recipient received an unrestricted cash award of $2,500 from Arch Coal. In addition, the West Virginia Education Association's (WVEA) West Virginia Foundation for Improvement of Education (WVFIE) added a $1,000 grant to each recipient's school for use with at-risk students.
Arch Coal President and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, accompanied by Gov. Bob Wise, Secretary of Arts and Education Kay Goodwin, State Schools Superintendent Dr. David Stewart, and West Virginia Education Association President Tom Lange presented awards to:
"When I see the accomplishments of our honorees, I know the students of West Virginia are in good hands," Leer said. "Each day, these teachers challenge, inspire and help students develop a passion for life-long learning. Arch Coal is proud to recognize some of the state's most talented teachers."
"Teachers are the experts who are charged with laying a foundation for our future," said Sec. Goodwin. "Great teachers ensure that West Virginia will remain strong for generations to come, and we are very proud of our high quality teachers. Arch Coal is to be commended for its commitment to recognizing excellence in teaching."
"Thanks to teachers like those being honored today student test scores are on the rise, character education is being exemplified in the classroom, and more students are graduating from high school and going to college," said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. "These teachers play a vital role in promoting and encouraging excellence in West Virginia's classrooms."
"The WVEA and its foundation, the West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education are proud to honor these outstanding teachers," said WVEA President Lange. "They exemplify the dedicated professionals that are found throughout West Virginia's public schools. We honor them and their colleagues for challenging and inspiring our children to achieve."
"Classroom teaching excellence is vital to our well-being, not only of our state's children, but to the future of West Virginia. Each day, these teachers put their exceptional knowledge and skills to work - enabling students to be better prepared fore tomorrow's challenges," said John R. Snider, Arch Coal's vice president, external affairs, eastern region.
"Again this year, our independent judges, who were former Teacher Achievement Award winners, found it difficult to determine the 10 recipients," said Snider. "The scoring of the applications was so close that less than three percentage points separated the 10th from the 25th scorer. Nearly 400 excellent teachers were nominated by the public this year."
The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards program is the longest running, privately sponsored teacher recognition program in West Virginia. Arch Coal has support from the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Education Association, and Speedway in promoting the program.
Arch Coal is the nation's second largest coal producer and mines clean-burning, low-sulfur coal exclusively. Approximately 2,000 people are employed at Arch's operations in West Virginia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis.
WVEA created the WVFIE foundation in 1993 to assist in securing resources to aid in the education of at-risk students. This was the second year in which WVFIE awarded grants to the schools of the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award recipients.
Information about each of the 10 recipients is posted on the Arch Coal Web site: http://www.archcoal.com/community/teacherawards_2004.aspx.