Arch Coal Teacher Award Honors Afton’s Connie Welch Day

Cheyenne (May 3, 2002) - Connie Welch Day, a health and physical education teacher at Star Valley High School in Afton, Wyo., says she teaches her students “to respect themselves and others.”

Today, she received the respect of her peers and others as she was selected as a 2002 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award recipient. Announcement of the award was made by Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer. Gov. Jim Geringer, Superintendent of Public Instruction Judy Catchpole, and Wyoming Education Association Communications Director Ron Sniffin joined Leer at the awards ceremony, which took place at Jessup Elementary School in Cheyenne.

“Arch Coal is pleased to honor 10 excellent Wyoming teachers, who daily bring the magic of learning to their students,” said Leer. Arch Coal believes that great classroom teachers are primary, positive influences in American education. I know these teachers dare their students to succeed  and then teach them how.”

Day, who for 22 of her 27 years as a teacher has taught in Lincoln County, Wyo., “not only represents a great teacher, but a person who is constantly making the world a better place to live by what she does for others,” says Kem T. Cazier, principal at Star Valley Middle School.

“I have known Connie as a hometown farm girl and now as a colleague,” says Helen Merritt, who also is a neighbor and friend. “Connie lives what she teaches by caring and showing love for all her students.”

Mark Taylor, principal at Star Valley High School, says Day is “the ultimate champion of students. With Mrs. Day, you get the entire package!”

Day teaches life skills to students so that they are better able to cope with everyday problems. She has worked with many students who have personal and family problems, counseling them to be able to overcome situations and succeed. “I believe for me to be effective and make a difference in my students’ lives, they need to know I care about them,” says Day.

“Being a teacher for the past 27 years has provided me with some very challenging and rewarding opportunities. It has been, and continues to be, an incredible journey.”

Day has a bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University. She also has attended numerous professional training seminars and conferences and is certified in Chemical Awareness Training.

Each recipient receives a $2,500 unrestricted cash award and a distinctive glass trophy, in addition to other recognition. The Arch Coal teacher recognition program is unique because it features public nomination and peer selection. This is the second year for the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards in Wyoming.

The Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, Taco John’s and MiniMart supported Arch Coal in the program.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer and employs more than 500 people in Wyoming. Arch produces more than 65 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 maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.