Education

Patricia Aluise Cole Wins 2003 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston (March 6, 2003) – Patty Aluise Cole decided to become a teacher at age 6. “Learning fascinated me, and I wanted to pass this enthusiasm for knowledge on to others,” she says. “Moreover, I have always adored children and wanted to serve as a positive role model for them. I continue to teach because I truly believe I have chosen the most important profession as my life’s work. We teachers definitely ‘change lives’ and shape the future.”

Sometimes the teacher’s future is shaped as well. Cole is one of only 10 West Virginia teachers to receive a 2003 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement, accompanied by West Virginia Governor Bob Wise; Secretary of Education and Arts Kay Goodwin; Deputy State Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Paine, and WVEA President Tom Lange, at a presentation ceremony at the state capitol.

“This year’s ‘class’ of recipients is proof that West Virginia is blessed with many excellent teachers,” says Leer. “We truly believe excellent teachers are the cornerstone of our society and economic vitality. These recipients have experience, expertise and a passion for learning, and they pass it on to their students every day.”

Cole teaches fifth-grade students at Our Lady of Fatima School in Huntington, where she strives to educate the whole child by promoting moral, physical and intellectual development. “I seek to build each child’s character to include values of honesty, truthfulness, integrity and obedience,” she notes.

Through problem-based learning, Cole helps students assume greater responsibility for their own education. “I utilize this technique whenever possible, because more learning occurs, critical thinking is enhanced, self-confidence increases, and the children become more motivated,” she says. “It is not enough for the student to learn in science that a dominant trait is the stronger one. They must understand why it is important to know that information and how it applies to heredity and genetics.”

Cole earned bachelor’s and master’s (+42 hours) degrees at Marshall University, and she continues her education through participation in various classes, workshops, institutes, seminars and training programs. Cole also has received numerous grants, awards and honors. She further supports her community through involvement in civic, church, school and other initiatives.

In addition to recognition, recipients receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive glass trophy and a framed certificate. The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education is making a $1,000 award to each recipient’s school for use with at-risk students. The Arch Coal teacher recognition program features public nomination and peer selection.

Arch Coal is supported by the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Education Association and Speedway in program promotion. Arch Coal’s Teacher Achievement Awards is one of the longest running, privately sponsored teacher recognition programs 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.