Love of Learning Motivates Kathyrn Ann Wise, Earns Her Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

May 3, 2004 — A love of learning motivates Kathryn Ann Wise’s continuing career in education. "I believe that we will always need to learn and apply new things - in our professional and personal lives," she notes. "My goal is to promote learning in both my students and in myself. I do believe we need to instill our students with the desire for lifelong learning. As a teacher, I am frequently learning new things. The new ideas and techniques that I learn motivate me to become a better teacher."

Wise ranks beyond "better," however. Today she was recognized as one of Wyoming’s "best." Wise was one of only 10 teachers statewide 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."

Wise teaches computer courses at Worland Middle School where she uses a variety of materials and methods to teach computer applications, career explorations and general use of the Internet.

"My goal in working with students is to guide them in looking at the whole picture - whether it is an ongoing work in progress or a personal goal," she says. "Students need to understand that what they do today will be useful to them in the future. As a teacher, my ultimate goal is to prepare students to be able to work competently and to have the knowledge base to do so."

Wise earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Black Hills College, now Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D. She continues her education through classes and workshops aimed at improving her technology skills. Wise was part of WYOBest, funded by the Wyoming Legislature for the 2000-2001 school year. Her next goal is to pursue certification through Teacher Prep. She has been listed in the International Who’s Who of Business and Professional Women and Who’s Who in America. Wise serves on a variety of committees in her school district. She further supports her community through involvement in various education, church and civic activities. 

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.