Sheridan High School’s Peter M. Hawkins Receives Arch Coal Teacher Award

Cheyenne (May 3, 2002) - “Teaching is all about pouring one’s life into the lives of others and encouraging them to do the same. I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life,” says Peter M. Hawkins, who teaches French at Sheridan High School.

Today, Arch Coal President and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer named Hawkins a 2002 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award recipient. Gov. Jim Geringer, Superintendent of Public Instruction Judy Catchpole, and Wyoming Education Association Communications Director Ron Sniffin joined Leer in honoring Hawkins in a ceremony at Jessup Elementary School in Cheyenne.

“Arch Coal is pleased to honor 10 excellent Wyoming teachers, who every day bring the magic of learning to their students,” Leer says. “We believe 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!”

With 13 years as an educator, Hawkins has taught the past four years at Sheridan High School.

“Not only does he deal well with his subject matter, he also is committed to being available to students who have concerns beyond the subject,” says Rev. David Duprey. “It not would be odd to hear Pete encouraging a student in his role in the school play, in struggles with algebra, or parent relationships.”

“He is the type of teacher who will lead us in this century to revamp and recharge the educational system,” adds Dirleen Wheeler, principal at Sheridan High School.

“After studying the French language on the university level, I still maintain that Mr. Hawkins is the best foreign language teacher I have ever had,” notes Princeton University freshman Charlie Tarver.

“Our task is to equip the future citizens of the world to make wise choices,” Hawkins says. ”I set the bar high for my students and expect them to learn much. They rise to the occasion. Students need teachers to believe they can learn — and they can learn at a high level.”

Hawkins is now developing an exchange program with a school in France, using the Internet. He holds a bachelor’s degree in French education from Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., a master’s degree in missions from Grace Theological Seminary, and another master’s degree in education from the University of Wyoming.

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 support Arch Coal in the program.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer and employs more than 500 people in Wyoming. The company produces more than 65 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal annually at its Wyoming operations. Its 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.