Education

North Casper Elementary’s Cheryll Lanell Westcott Receives Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Award

Casper – Cheryll Lanell Westcott, a second-grade teacher at North Casper Elementary, today was named one of 10 Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Award recipients.

Along with recognition, Westcott received a $2,500 cash award, according to Arch Coal Vice President Terry O’Connor, who told an assembly at McKinley Elementary School in Casper that “teachers are entrusted with Wyoming’s most valuable resource – its children.” O’Connor was joined by Governor Jim Geringer, State Superintendent Judy Catchpole and Wyoming Education Association President Gary McDowell.

“Cheryll is a lifelong learner, recently completing over 90 hours of training in our school language arts program,” notes North Casper Principal Angela Hensley. “She is also a respected staff member. She is supportive of others and is always the first to celebrate others’ successes. Mrs. Westcott is a skilled and dedicated educator, who is well-deserving of this award.”

Westcott also is an organized teacher, who makes certain time is devoted each day to the requirements of the curriculum, evaluation and correctives, according to a colleague, Pat Bacon. “She also finds time to include enriching activities that make her classroom fun,” Bacon adds.

Westcott credits her dedication to learning and desire to teach to her parents. “My father was a coal miner, with an eighth-grade education,” she says. “He came from Italy as a young man, to work in the mines. He always wanted his children to have a better and safer job than he did.

“My mother was a high-school graduate and a housewife,” Westcott adds. “She always wanted the best for her children, especially a job that would be self-supporting. In Superior, Wyoming, where I grew up, a teacher was looked upon as an important figure.”

Westcott believes every child can learn, but at different rates. “It is my responsibility to find the channel that will facilitate learning,” Westcott says. “I help children recognize there are no failures in my classroom, only experiences that are stepping stones to more learning,” she adds.

A 34-year teaching veteran, Westcott earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming, at Laramie, and she has accumulated more than 60 graduate hours. She continues her education through a variety of classes and conferences, aimed at continually “honing” her skills. Westcott also supports her community through involvement in church and civic initiatives.

This was the inaugural year of the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards in Wyoming. Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer. Arch employs more than 500 people in Wyoming and produces more than 60 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal annually at its Wyoming operations. The company’s Black Thunder operation in Campbell County is one of the nation’s largest and most efficient coal mines. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and makes its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.