Green River High School Will ‘Rock’ Today; School’s Geology Teacher Steve Lawrence Receives Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Award

Casper – “Your classes will never be dull if you are one of your own students,” says Steve Lawrence, a geology teacher at Green River High School, commenting on his love of learning.

Today, Lawrence learned he was one of 10 recipients of the 2001 Arch Coal, Inc. Teacher Achievement Awards.

With the announcement, Arch Coal also presented Lawrence 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 at the awards ceremony by Governor Jim Geringer, State Superintendent Judy Catchpole and Wyoming Education Association President Gary McDowell.

“Steve has consistently gone out of his way to provide our students with an exceptional educational opportunity,” says the high school’s activities director, Mark A. Neish. “He is tireless in his efforts. Students are afforded numerous field experiences relating to geology courses. He is one of our most respected staff members and rightly so. I have worked in four other high schools in two other states and can say without reservation that Steve is one of the best educators I have ever met.”

“He is there for every student,” says parent Peggy Schamber. “He has a talent for making learning fun and interesting. He brings as much to life in the classroom and labs and through students’ projects as possible. And, when this is not possible, he takes his students out into the field to continue their education.”

“As one of the state’s top science teachers, Mr. Lawrence has taken the field of geology and expanded it into one of the favorite courses taught at Green River High School,” says school Principal Ronald Max Rees. “His zeal and enthusiasm have made him a popular educator among students and staff alike. When extra help or assistance has been needed, Mr. Lawrence has been very generous with his time and has chaperoned many dances and public activities.”

“My philosophy of education is really a philosophy of life-long learning, where everything in one’s life centers on the conquest of new knowledge,” Lawrence says. “I view learning as victories of the mind, a game played for the sheer entertainment of acquiring new information to link random thoughts into a big picture. I always seek to understand the big picture, and I try very hard to instill the big picture into all of my students.”

Because Lawrence believes that education is achieved in many settings, school being only one of them, his curriculum also is very field-studies oriented. His classes have studied geologic formations in Hawaii, Mexico and in various national parks.

“I know teaching is an awesome responsibility and one that is full of heartwarming rewards,” he says.

Lawrence has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology and a Bachelor of Science in Education, both from the University of Wyoming. He also is working on a Master of Science Degree in Geology from the same university.

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.