Education

North Elementary School’s Michelle Woodruff Receives Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Award

Casper – Michelle Woodruff, a third-grade teacher at North Elementary School in Lander, today was named one of 10 Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Award recipients.

Along with recognition, Woodruff 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.

“Michelle demonstrates excellent rapport with students, parents and staff,” says Principal Dennis Oman. “She is willing to do whatever it takes to help her students succeed.”

“When I told my 20-year-old daughter I’d be writing a letter of support for Michelle Woodruff to receive a teacher achievement award, she cheered,” notes Geoffrey O’Gara, a trustee for the Fremont County School District, whose child was once Woodruff’s student. “My daughter, who is a sophomore at Stanford today, remembers it as ‘the best year, the very best year,’ she had in Lander Schools,” he adds.

“Michelle works overtime to see that all of her students are learning, but more importantly, are understanding and are challenged,” adds Wayna Warren, whose child currently is in Woodruff’s class. “She has done and will continue to do many great things that instill the love of learning into her classroom.”

“The most important thing I do for my students is to guide them to be independent thinkers, with a strong sense of integrity,” notes Woodruff, whose philosophy is that students should be actively involved in learning. “In my classroom, they don’t just sit and listen!” she says. “I believe in motivating students by designing very real experiences whenever possible.”

An award-winning educator, Woodruff has taught for 20 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin, at Oshkosh. Already certified in several areas, she continues her education through participation in workshops and field studies. Woodruff supports her community by volunteering for the Lander Children’s Museum, The Boy Scouts of America and other civic-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.