CHARLESTON — The Arch Coal Foundation is kicking off the silver anniversary of its prestigious teacher recognition program by asking West Virginians to nominate star teachers for the 2013 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards.
“Teachers are the stars of their classrooms, but they often do not receive the recognition they deserve,” said Charles Snavely, president of Arch Coal’s eastern operations. “Arch Coal is pleased to be in our 25th year of providing well-deserved recognition for these unsung heroes.”
The Arch Coal Foundation will provide $3,500 personal cash awards to each of 12 recipients.
“The West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) have been excellent partners since the program’s inception, and the Arch Coal Foundation is thankful for their support,” said Snavely. “Additionally, the West Virginia Library Commission, which began its support of the program a few years ago, has provided important assistance.”
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin praised his state’s teachers and the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards program.
“As a former educator, I know how challenging it can be to stand at the front of the classroom. Working with students isn’t easy; each day brings new challenges and requires hard work,” Tomblin said. “We have wonderful, inspiring and dedicated teachers here in West Virginia. They go above and beyond each and every day to help our children reach their greatest potential. The work these teachers do is extremely important; they are shaping our future. I’m very grateful for the Arch Coal Foundation’s continued dedication to the teachers of this great state, and I look forward to meeting this year’s recipients.”
“The West Virginia Education Association’s partnership has been particularly gratifying,” said Snavely. “In addition to its promotion of the awards to its members and other classroom teachers, the association’s foundation — the West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education — will again provide a $1,000 grant to the school of each public school award recipient for use with at-risk students. The Arch Coal Foundation is very thankful for this longtime partnership.”
“WVEA is pleased once again to partner with Arch Coal for the Teacher Achievement Awards,” said WVEA President Dale Lee. “It is refreshing to find a corporation such as Arch Coal that understands the value of teaching and the dedication of West Virginia’s teachers to the academic success of their students. It is even rarer to find one that is willing to create and finance a program to honor those teachers. WVEA and its members are dedicated to improving our public schools and to improving student achievement. Our schools are filled with wonderful, outstanding teachers. It is an honor to recognize them.”
“West Virginia’s children need quality teaching to help provide them with the knowledge and training they need to become the leaders of tomorrow,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “The teachers selected to be honored by the Arch Coal Foundation are among the best in our classrooms today. They understand that personalizing learning empowers them to provide all students with an education tailored to their specific needs, which ultimately will improve achievement and promote long-lasting change in our schools.”
“The West Virginia Library Commission shares a goal with the Arch Coal Foundation — that excellent classroom teachers deserve special recognition,” said Karen Goff, the commission’s executive director. “We are pleased that our state’s libraries are repositories of learning, as well as being places where great teachers may be nominated for these important awards.”
Nominations are open now through the first week of January, and anyone from the community may nominate a teacher for the award. Nominated teachers must complete a written application, which is then judged by a blue-ribbon panel of former award recipients. Winners are usually announced in early March. Nomination forms are available in schools and at all state libraries. An online nomination form also is available at archteacherawards.com or wvea.org.
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.