Linda Carole Hull Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

February 25, 2004 — When it came time for college, Linda Carole Hull began training to teach. She based her decision on role models - both of Hull’s parents were educators - and advice. "I grew up in the ’60s, when girls were advised by their high school counselors to become teachers," Hull explains. "And then something happened. During my junior year of college, while engaged in my first student teaching experience, I realized teaching was the proper career choice for me."

"Proper" may be an understatement. Today, Hull ranks among West Virginia’s finest teachers. She is one of only 10 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 West Virginia Governor Bob Wise; Secretary of Education and Arts Kay Goodwin; State Schools Superintendent Dr. David Stewart; and WVEA President Tom Lange, in a presentation ceremony at the state capitol.

"When I see the accomplishments of our honorees, I know the students of West Virginia are in good hands," says Leer. "Each day, these teachers challenge, inspire and help students develop a passion for life-long learning. Arch Coal is proud to recognize some of the state’s most talented teachers."

A 21-year educator, Hull teaches first-grade students at Flinn Elementary, Charleston, W.Va. "The most important thing I do for my children is to view them as a classroom of individuals, with their own learning styles," she says. "I set high expectations for my children and remind them daily that they are smart, they can do anything, and that it is not a ’big deal’ if they do not master a skill on the first day, because they will eventually master the skill.

"As their teacher, it is my job to determine the learning style each child requires and then to develop a teaching approach that will meet their individual needs," Hull adds. "In order to be a successful teacher of children, I must commit myself to learning and developing strategies and techniques that will enable my students to reach their full potential."

Hull earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Indiana University, Pa. She has achieved National Board for Professional Standards certification and completed graduate work at both Penn State and Marshall University. Hull continues her development through active involvement in the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Reading Cadre, and she developed numerous workshops in reading and writing strategies for West Virginia teachers and education organizations. Hull has served as an adjunct professor at Marshall University, where she wrote the syllabi and developed reading classes for two graduate courses in Fayette County. She is co-author of the WVDE K-2 Writing for All Module, which helped her develop a classroom project for both children and their parents. In 2003, she was selected as a Master Trainer by the WVDE and charged with creating a professional development model for presentation to all West Virginia teachers.

Hull further serves her community through a variety of education, community-betterment and church initiatives. Her future plans include completing a Master’s Degree in Reading Education and a Doctorate in Elementary Education.

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. 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.

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 the longest running, privately sponsored teacher recognition program 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.