Education

Rachel Jane Hull Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Recipient

February 25, 2004 — Rachel Jane Hull’s decision to become a teacher was a natural one. My artist parents instilled in their six children the desire to serve others," she notes. "Being the oldest, I found that I was most comfortable and successful in an environment that included children.

"A constant desire for knowledge - realizing I know so little - gives me the energy to learn more and provide the environment for my students’ learning," Hull adds. "Seeing the results of my efforts through the success of my students is my greatest reward."

Today, Hull received yet another gratifying reward. She is one of only 10 teachers in West Virginia 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."

Hull teaches fourth-grade students at Buffalo Elementary, Buffalo, W.Va., where she strives to give students a thirst for knowledge. "I begin this by teaching them to analyze their own test results," Hull says. "This allows them to celebrate and build upon their strengths, building their self esteem. I also use this to instruct my students in how to remedy their weaknesses through research.

"Building upon these identified strengths and weaknesses, I create lessons that are high in interest and purpose," she adds. "This keeps my students motivated to learn and, just like me, coming back for more!"

Hull earned her bachelor’s degree at Asbury College, Wilmore, Ky., and a master’s degree at Marshall University, Huntington. Her continuing education includes both participating and presenting at numerous training sessions and workshops at school, county, state and international levels. She is a certified Intel Master Teacher and the 2003-2004 Putnam County Teacher of the Year. "However," she stresses, "the highest honor of my career is when former students return to thank me or tell me what a difference I made in their lives. That is why I go to work each day." Within the community, Hull participates in a range of education, church, human services and other community-betterment 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. 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.