Education

Rozet Elementary’s Kitty Lee Yelland Wins Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Cheyenne (April 25, 2003) — To Kitty Lee Yelland, teaching is much more than a profession. “For me, it is a calling and a commitment,” she says. “Loving children is at the heart of what motivates me as a teacher and is the most important thing I do.

“Love inspires me to give my best to the children who have been entrusted to my care and to any who happen to cross my path in life,” Yelland adds. “My classroom does not consist of four walls, because wherever I am, it’s there, too. Life and its opportunities are my classroom. It is my passion to help students discover the same for themselves — for together we are all teachers and learners. And yet, not one of us is exactly like the other.”

Yelland’s own special qualities helped her earn one of only 10 Wyoming 2003 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement, accompanied by Governor Dave Freudenthal, Deputy Superintendent of Education Mary Kay Hill, and Kathryn Valido, a member of the executive committee of the Wyoming Education Association, during a ceremony at Cheyenne East High School.

“In this third year of our teacher recognition program in Wyoming, we continue to see teacher excellence across the state,” says Leer. “We believe outstanding teachers are the cornerstone of a good education. These recipients bring the magic of learning into their classrooms every day, and they have experience, expertise and a passion for learning themselves.”

Yelland teaches first- and second-graders at Rozet Elementary, Rozet, Wyo. “I daily remind myself that, as a teacher, I make a positive difference in the lives and futures of my students and hold the most important job in America today,” she says.

“I have high expectations. I think learning should be challenging, stimulating and, of course, lots of fun! I want to equip, empower, motivate and inspire all students to believe in themselves and to reach beyond themselves so that they can live life to their fullest potential.”

Yelland earned an associate’s degree at Chaffey College, Alta Loma, Calif., and a bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, El Paso. She also holds a Texas Lifetime Teaching Certificate, with a kindergarten endorsement, and a Wyoming Elementary Teaching Certificate. Yelland also has completed 16 semester units of seminary classes at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Brea, Calif., and she is working on a master’s degree in teaching through the distance learning program at Grand Canyon University, Phoenix. As a lifelong learner, Wright plans to continue taking classes until the day she retires, or even beyond retirement. She further supports her community through emergency, tutoring, cultural and church programs.

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive glass trophy and a framed certificate. The Arch Coal teacher recognition program features public nomination and peer selection. Arch Coal is supported by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, Taco John’s and MiniMart in program promotion.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer and employs 600 people in Wyoming. Arch produces more than 65 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal annually at its Wyoming operations. The company’s 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, Mo.