Education

Weirton High School’s Fay Asfour Stump Receives Arch Coal Teacher Award

Charleston − Imagine emigrating to the United States as a 5-year-old child, not knowing how to speak the language of your new land, and, years later, being named one of 10 select teachers in West Virginia to receive the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award.

That is the story of Fay Asfour Stump, now a 28-year teaching veteran, who teaches English and creative writing at Weir High School in Weirton.

In making the announcement, Arch Coal President and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer presented Stump 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.

“Mrs. Flaherty was my fourth-grade teacher and the first person to influence me to spend the rest of my life in schools − learning and teaching,” explains Stump. “However, the most influential person in my choice of a career was a high school English teacher, who helped me to realize the importance of an English teacher’s work. Through Joan Hayes’ example, I learned that teaching English is more than teaching the parts of speech. I realized that English teachers, through writing and literature, could help young adults to discover themselves and understand the world around them.”

Stump continues to teach, because “I know I have made a difference in the lives of many of my students. I love school, students, my teacher friends, and the stimulation and challenge that working in education provides,” she adds. “I am proud to be a teacher.”

“I have worked with Fay for the past 26 years,” says Cathy Adam, a colleague. “She is the most caring, energetic and enthusiastic teacher I have ever known. As talented, caring, and outstanding as Fay is in the classroom, she is even more so as a colleague. Fay has been my role model.”

Another colleague, at Weir High School, Cindy Jividen, confirms Adam’s opinion. “Though she is very busy with her curricular and extra-curricular duties, night classes, and family, she generously makes time for her friends and colleagues. She is certainly the most committed, giving friend and colleague I have ever known.”

“I want you to know that I have never forgotten your class or the things I learned from you,” says former student Bret Clovis, now a student at Marshall University, where he is studying to become a teacher. “I owe much of my college success to you. I hope you continue to teach with the same devotion for years to come.”

Stump has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairmont State College, a Master of Arts in Education from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in Education Administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

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.