Education

Susan Mary Childers Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

February 25, 2004 — For the past 25 years, physical education teacher Susan Mary Childers has been living a dream. "I savor every minute I have with my students, because I feel physical education is the most important subject they have," she says. "Physical education is the primary source for inclusion of students of all abilities. This experience teaches most of them the humility and patience necessary in dealing with one another that may not be afforded in other classes."

Today, Childers got to savor yet another aspect of her career. 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."

Childers teaches physical education at Parkersburg South High School. "It is my responsibility to give students the opportunity to experience a wide variety of physical activities," she says.

"I want them to understand that physical education is not just about ’sports’ and is not just for the ’athlete.’ I try to show them that being physically active on a daily basis can be fun and is a necessity for a long and healthful life," she adds. "Knowing the ever-increasing data on heart disease, obesity and inactivity, it is my role to give students the skills and knowledge for caring for themselves throughout their lives."

Childers earned her bachelor’s degree at West Virginia’s Salem College; a master’s degree at Salem-Teikyo University; and 45 plus hours at West Virginia University, Morgantown. Her professional affiliations include the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the West Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, in which she has filled a number of offices. She has participated in and presented at numerous national, district and state conventions and led Physical Education Staff Development in her county for many years. Childers served as a member of the Wood County Staff Development Council, helped her school earn a number of grants, and was named the West Virginia Secondary Physical Educator of the Year in 1994. She further supports her community through involvement in a variety of church, education 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. 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.