Education

Worland High School Teacher Peter Swanson Receives Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Award

Casper – Peter B. Swanson, a teacher at Worland High School, today was named one of 10 Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Award recipients.

Along with recognition, Swanson 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.

“There are many appropriate words that might help define the reason behind Pete’s success as a teacher, but the one that first comes to mind is ‘dedication,’” says Superintendent of Schools Michael Hejtmanek. “Pete is persistent and encouraging in his instruction. He employs a variety of teaching methods to determine the one best suited for each pupil.”

Swanson, who teaches Spanish courses at Worland, believes students have a variety of learning styles, so he employs a variety of teaching methods. “I utilize writing, reading, speaking and listening into each lesson,” he says. “My philosophy is that all students can learn if they choose to learn. As a professional educator, I have to take charge and help students realize learning Spanish can be something that will help them in their futures. By reinforcing the importance of a sound education, my students will have a better opportunity to succeed in life.”

Swanson has an excellent rapport with his students, according to a colleague, Jacqueline Pike. “He has established high expectations and standards, which they willingly strive to meet. He serves as an interpreter for many of the Hispanic and foreign exchange students, allowing them to be successful in their other classes,” she adds.

“I have observed Pete’s countless hours devoted to coaching our Special Olympics team and helping special needs students achieve success,” notes writer and teacher Deborah Hammons. “Students know he will do anything to help them learn. His faith in them motivates them to try harder and do better.”

Swanson earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish at the University of Arizona. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in modern languages from the University of Wyoming, at Laramie. He has earned a variety of professional achievements and actively participates in a number of community-betterment organizations.

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.