Education

Rock Springs HS Teacher Mary Ann Wilcox Receives Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Award

Casper – Mary Ann Wilcox, a teacher at Rock Springs High School, today was named one of 10 Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Award recipients.

Along with recognition, Wilcox 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.

Wilcox repeatedly goes the extra mile, says Paul Grube, associate principal. “She uses various teaching methods and techniques to get her lessons across. She is always one of the last staff members to leave the building, and she devotes countless hours to researching and providing extra materials to incorporate into her classes. She is always available to assist those students who need extra help and does an exceptional job in this capacity,” he adds.

“Mary Ann is dedicated to the teaching profession,” notes Bob Faigl, Social Studies Department chairman at Rock Springs. “Her patience and understanding are noteworthy, but it is also highly commendable that she establishes realistic expectations for all of her students, and they do learn!”

“Mary Ann strives to push her students to their very best ability, and in turn, her students are ready to accept the challenges of everyday life,” adds former student, Brett Hadley. “Her commitment to see her students succeed is second to none.”

Wilcox, who teaches U.S. History and U.S. Government, believes the most important thing she can do for students is offer them the opportunity to make choices. Her teaching philosophy? There is only failure in not trying. “Every student has a uniqueness and the ability to learn, albeit not at the same rate or in the same manner as other students,” she says. “To me, a student who has worked to the best of his or her ability has achieved a major victory.”

Now a 30-year teaching veteran, Wilcox earned an associate’s degree from Cottey College, at Nevada Mo.; and bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming, at Laramie. She continues her education through a variety of courses and seminars and supports her community through education, civic and arts-related activities.

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.