Education

Browning Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award, Thanks Former Teacher, Mr. Cline

Scott Depot (April 30) – After repeating the sixth grade, Riley Dale Browning suffered from low self-esteem. “I had already given up on myself,” Browning recalls, “but Mr. Cline would not give up on me. He spent much of his time helping me to build self-confidence. … I owe this man, a teacher, a great debt of gratitude for my successes.”

Now that debt may be considered “paid in full.” Browning, a sixth-grade teacher at Gilbert Middle School, has been “giving back” through his students for the past 19 years. Today, he became one of only 10 West Virginia Teachers to earn an 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.”

“Mr. Browning far exceeds the call of duty, and his dedication to children is beyond compare — as is his attention to detailed lesson plans and the execution of those plans,” notes Gilbert Principal Burma Hatfield. “He is a very creative teacher, and he demonstrates a high degree of flexibility in dealing with the various levels of individual possibilities.”

“His energetic approaches to delivering his content material in unique ways make his classroom an exciting place for his students,” adds colleague LaDonna Auvil. “His constant attention to their needs as students and as young people makes him a favorite teacher and friend of his charges.”

“I believe that all students have the potential to succeed in every academic area, with the proper instruction and when given the opportunity to explore,” says Browning. “My classroom should be one where the students are forced to think critically about issues beyond their immediate environment and their communities. I also believe that an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and encouragement must be created if effective teaching and successful learning are to take place.”

Browning earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Marshall University, Huntington, W.Va.

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.