Carey Junior High School’s Paul M. Crips Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

May 3, 2004 — One of the greatest compliments Paul M. Crips ever received came from his former Army National Guard commander. "She said the only thing that separated me from my students was the tie I wear," Crips recalls. "She understood that my quest as a professional educator was to jump directly into the arena of discovery with my students and that every new concept or process learned was just as exciting to me as it was to them."

Today Crips’ students made yet another discovery - their teacher ranks among the state’s best! Crips is among 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." 

Crips teaches science to seventh-grade students at CJHS. He believes the most important thing he does for students is to provide an atmosphere similar to an adventure movie. "Every twist and turn is different, and students are rarely in their seats listening to me," he notes. "This is accomplished by making education one of the most sought-after activities of their young lives and by moving them in a direction that promotes high achievement.

"A teacher’s job must be totally dedicated to bringing the learning atmosphere alive and active, promoting a true sense of adventure in all endeavors," he adds.

Crips earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Wyoming, and he is a candidate for National Board Certification. He received training as a Solar System Fellow from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He was selected as a Maury Project Peer Trainer in Oceanography by the United States Naval Academy and is a trainer in atmospheric sciences with the DataStreme project, administered by the American Meteorological Society. Crips was one of only 38 U.S. teachers selected as a Walt Disney Honoree in 1999, enabling him to attend the Disney Institute in Florida. He is an adviser for his school’s Society of Student Astronomers and served as an instructor for the Laramie County Library System’s science series, The Research Revolution. Crips also participates in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service initiatives. 

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.