Education

Matewan/Magnolia High School’s Bridget K. Call Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston − In terms of her career, Bridget K. Call had a couple of positive influences in her life. “From my dad, an elementary school principal, I learned fine points of administration,” she says. “From my mom, an elementary and middle school teacher, I learned effective classroom management.” Call learned well. Today she was one of only 10 teachers in the state to receive an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award.

In making the announcement, Arch Coal President and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer presented Call with a $2,500 award. Also on hand to honor her were Governor Bob Wise, Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Stewart, and West Virginia Education Association President Tom Lange.

Call, with 26 years of classroom experience, teaches English, theatre, speech and writing courses at Matewan/Magnolia High School. To define her teaching philosophy, she borrows a line from President Bush’s inaugural speech: No insignificant person was ever born.

“For 26 years, I have tried whatever works to saturate students in our socially and economically depressed region with that belief,” she says. “Being a product of our area myself, I daily model what they can achieve through drive and determination. My bringing in business people, employed parents and unemployed parents to discuss the realities of adult life allows students to see the results of completing and not completing one’s high school education and emphasizes the necessity of furthering one’s education and/or training, to meet the demands of the 21st century.

“In my classroom, students know that they are safe, challenged and dealt with honestly and fairly,” she adds. “I value each child, particularly those who don’t seem to feel valued by much of anyone.”

“Mrs. Call uses a variety of learning tools in her classroom, as well as outside her classroom,” notes Robert K. Allara, Matewan/Magnolia assistant principal. “This past summer, she produced an historical play, called The Matewan Massacre, which was outstanding and received national attention. Former students still rely on Mrs. Call for her vast knowledge of her subject area,” he adds. “Her students can say she has always been there to help them at any time they needed that extra help.”

“She has high expectations for all her students; and most importantly, she instills in them a love of learning.” notes Judith M. McCoy, parent, curriculum coordinator and Call’s former co-worker.

“Bridget can always be counted on to go the extra mile to educate herself about new techniques and procedures,” adds Carol Harris, a co-worker and French teacher. “She in turn uses innovative and interesting methods to share these with her students.”

Call earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education at Alderson Broaddus College, in Philippi, W.Va., and her master’s degree (+45 hours) at Marshall University, in Huntington, W.Va.

Arch Coal in the nation’s second largest coal producer. Arch employs about 2,000 people in West Virginia. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and makes its corporate headquarters in St., Louis, Mo.