Education

Ritchie County Middle School’s Goff Wins Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Scott Depot (April 30) – From the time she was four years old, Roberta Goff was hooked on teaching. “At that time, I wanted to teach in a one-room school, just like my cousin,” she recalls. “I had gone to school with her, and I knew all the lessons. My dolls were model students, and I was the perfect teacher.”

Some say she still is. Today, Goff 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.”

“Mrs. Goff is a valued member of the Ritchie County Middle School faculty,” notes Assistant Principal April Haught. “Her positive attitude and love of children are reflected in the outstanding quality of her classroom instruction and her extra time invested with RCMS students.”

“I’ve known her for six years, and I conclude she is the best non-relative woman I know,” says current student Tad Hudkins. “One of the most important things about her is that she is a great listener and can help you through any problem. She has been with me through thick and thin … Her decisions are fair, and students learn their lesson.”

For the past 16 of her 17 years in education, Goff has taught at RCMS, where she currently teaches English and writing courses to eighth-graders. “My personal goal is to excite each and every student to learn for the sake of learning,” she says. “I try to bestow each child with the wonder that knowledge occurs not only in a textbook, but also in real life. Learning often occurs unnoticed and unrecognized; thus resulting in the love of learning how to learn.”

Goff earned her bachelor’s degree at Glenville State College and a master’s degree at 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.