Education

Beckley’s Crescent Elementary School’s Drexel Sammons Receives Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston – “As the son of a coal miner, I was educated in the mountain schools of southern West Virginia, where I was taught and challenged daily by dedicated teachers,” says Drexel Sammons. “I chose teaching to further that cause.”

Today, the fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, at Crescent Elementary School in Beckley, was recognized for teaching excellence as one of 10 recipients of the 2001 Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Award.

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

“I want my students to leave my class at the end of the year more confident and responsible people,” who will use the acquired knowledge they have learned for the betterment of society,” Sammons says.

“My teaching centers around one important word: enthusiasm,” he adds. “I strongly feel enthusiasm is contagious. If a teacher has it, his students will catch it. I believe I must always be willing to grow in my profession – learn new methods, ideas, concepts, and to keep updated in my subject matter.”

“He is a teacher whose day doesn’t end with the final bell, whose work does not end on a Friday afternoon, and whose commitment to the ideals of teaching social studies does not end with the marking period or the school year. He is a teacher who is available to his students and parents at all times – to help, to advise, or just to talk,” says Sammons’ principal, Danny Pettry.

Sammons also works in an after-school program at his school, conducted by the YWCA. “The students mutually admire and respect Mr. Sammons,” says Tonya Tiberio, the YWCA after-school director. “This is apparent every time a child runs up to him and says, ‘Mr. Sammons, I got an A on my test today! Thank you for helping me.’ Because of his true love of teaching, children flock to him.”

Mrs. Tammy C. McKinney, whose two daughters have had Sammons as their teacher, says, “In their writings and conversations, one name is always mentioned as one of the most influential teachers in their lives. This teacher is Drexel Sammons. He fits the well-known saying that teachers do influence and affect eternity in a very positive way.”

Sammons has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Berea College, Berea, Ky., and a Master of Arts Degree from West Virginia University.

This is the fourth year that Arch Coal has presented its teacher achievement awards in West Virginia. 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.