Nicholas County High School’s Cynthia R. Tallamy Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Scott Depot (April 30) – Cynthia R. Tallamy recalls her first few years of teaching as real “eye-openers.” Thinking her students would come to class ready and eager to learn, Tallamy soon learned that wasn’t always the case. “I almost left teaching after those early years, because I did not feel that I was making any difference in students’ lives,” she notes. “However, I stuck with it and found that now, after 22 years of teaching, I truly enjoy this job!”

Apparently, Tallamy’s enjoyment shows. Today, the Nicholas County High School math teacher became one of only 10 West Virginia teachers to receive a 2002 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Arch Coal President and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer presented the award, accompanied by Gov. Bob Wise, Secretary of Education and Arts Kay Goodwin, State Schools Superintendent David Stewart, and West Virginia Education Association President Tom Lange, at an awards ceremony at Scott Teays Elementary School in Scott Depot.

“Each year, we are thrilled with the exceptional level of talent we see in West Virginia teachers,” says Leer. “The careful selection process – by a blue-ribbon panel of peer judges – makes the award that much more distinguished. I’m glad Arch can have a small part in recognizing the many teachers in West Virginia who bring the magic of learning into our children’s classrooms every day.”

“Students are extremely fortunate to have such an organized, enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher, who is constantly on task and constantly involved with students after school,” says NCHS Principal Patricia Urbas Metheney. “If all educators were like Mrs. Tallamy, teaching and learning would be fun and fulfilling. Mrs. Tallamy is truly ‘one in a million.’ ”

“I have taken two separate classes from Mrs. Tallamy and can honestly say that I learned more in those courses than I had in any other math class I had ever taken,” adds student Bethany Nichols. “She explains methods and theories very clearly, making sure that everyone in the class knows what he or she is doing.”

Tallamy motivates her students by relating the math they learn to career or college applications. “I try to address the question of ‘when are we ever going to use this?’ in daily plans,” she explains. “By providing the ‘whys’ of learning, the teaching of mathematics has become much more meaningful. … I strive for my students to understand, achieve at a high level and truly enjoy their math classes.”

Tallamy earned her bachelor’s degree at West Virginia University, Morgantown; and a master’s degree at the W.Va. College of Graduate Studies Institute.

In addition to recognition, each award recipient receives a $2,500, unrestricted cash prize and a distinctive glass trophy. The Arch Coal teacher recognition program features public nomination and peer selection.

Arch Coal has support from the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Education Association, and Speedway in promoting the program. Arch Coal’s teacher awards program is one of the longest running in the state.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer and a supplier of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal exclusively. Approximately 2,000 people are employed at Arch’s operations in West Virginia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis.