Education

Morgantown High School’s Eric Kincaid Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Scott Depot (April 30) – Eric Kincaid, a science teacher at Morgantown High School, says he “would not trade the enjoyment of discovery” that he sees in his students for anything.

Today, Kincaid was named 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 Tom Lange, in an awards ceremony at Scott Teays Elementary, 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.”

On occasion, Kincaid’s students become crime solvers, when they study the forensics unit, applying such skills as blood-typing. At other times, he has his students work as teams, where they discover if they don’t cooperate and work together, the task is much more difficult.

“He is innovative and dynamic in the classroom,” says Assistant Principal Janice Goodwin. “He infuses students with tremendous motivation and instills them with an appetite for learning.”

“He has a natural manner of guiding students so easily that they stay on task and accomplish each day’s goals,” says Elisabeth Wallace, a fellow teacher at the high school. “He generates enthusiasm in the most reluctant student.”

Because science is moving ahead so rapidly, Kincaid has found that some new discoveries aren’t even in the textbooks. For example, his students have begun to ask about stem cell research. In such situations, he says his students “pull out their computers and start digging.”

Because students are going through changes in their development, Kincaid says he has made it his goal “to make them more comfortable. I try not to vary my attitude from day to day. I also make a conscious effort to treat all students with equality and consistency,” he says.

Kincaid has assisted in development of college level courses that seek to enrich high school science teachers’ biology content, traveled internationally to study tropical rain forests, and coordinated a multi-year effort summer workshop for high school biology teachers. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University.

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.