Education

Alice L. King Named Among Wyoming’s Top Teachers, Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

May 3, 2004 — Alice L. King’s high school English teacher had a tremendous influence on her life. "As an extremely shy sophomore, I trembled at the thought of giving speeches," King recalls. "This teacher encouraged me and told me that I would make it. After successfully giving my first speech, she steered me toward plays and being a member of the interpretation team. 

"I will forever be indebted to the time and effort Miss Clark spent shaping me into the adult I have become," King adds. "She seemed to intrinsically know that I would succeed in the teaching profession. Following in her footsteps to become a teacher who is caring, encouraging and always on the lookout for creative ways to teach her students is a path I hope to continue."

Miss Clark can take a bow. Her former student followed her path and excelled. Today King became one of only 10 Wyoming teachers to earn a 2004 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement, accompanied by Wyo. Governor Dave Freudenthal; Dr. Cheryl Schroeder, educational consultant representing Dr. Trent Blankenship, superintendent of public instruction; and Gary McDowell, president of the Wyoming Education Association, during a ceremony at Carey Junior High School in Cheyenne.

"These teachers challenge and inspire students to reach for their dreams," said Leer. "They are helping build a stronger Wyoming and a stronger America one student at a time. Arch Coal is proud to recognize some of the state’s most talented teachers and their tremendous contributions to our society."

King teaches English and speech courses to seniors at Campbell County High School, Gillette, Wyo. "Taking the time to figure out how my individual students learn best is probably the most important aspect to my teaching success," she says. "Most students do not learn effectively in a strictly pen and paper world. Instead, they need to be exposed to learning through movement, art and music across the curriculum. 

"Bringing a variety of assessments into my classroom along with the traditional methods has been a key to reaching students who are not focused on English as a favorite class," King says. "For example, when told that we are doing poetry or Shakespeare in class, the usual reaction is a collective groan from the classroom. By incorporating movement, art and music into these traditionally ’boring’ activities, I get my students to think about poetry and Shakespeare in a different light."

King earned her bachelor’s degree at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., and a master’s degree at Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass. Since becoming coach of her school’s Speech and Debate Program, the team has tripled in size. King also has organized the State Speech and Debate Tournament for the past two years. She further supports her community as board member and president of the Gillette Community Theater.

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. 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 one of the nation’s largest coal producers and employs approximately 650 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.