Newcastle Middle School’s Terri L. Cooper Empowers Students; Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

May 3, 2004 — Terri L. Cooper believes knowledge is the key to a successful life - and education is the means through which that knowledge is obtained. "Students who are provided with a quality education are empowered to fulfill their dreams, to maximize their potentials, and to lead their lives as valuable, contributing members of society," Cooper says. 

Today Cooper received confirmation of her own contributions. She became one of 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."

Cooper teaches computer/careers courses at Newcastle Middle School, Newcastle, Wyo. As an educator and a mother of two post-adolescent daughters, she’s keenly aware that the students she teaches have a fragile self-image. "Therefore, many lessons in my computer classes focus on the development of positive self-concept," she notes. "For example, students create an ’All About Me’ brochure as a culminating unit project. In the creation of this brochure, students address several curriculum standards: integration of writing and editing techniques; application of word processing and desktop publishing software; and utilization of the scanner, digital camera and color printer. 

"Although this project provides a means to master standards, the major reward is that it allows students to showcase precious family photographs, personal memories, dreams and aspirations, and to take pride in their accomplishments."

Cooper earned her bachelor’s degree and teacher’s certification at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D. She continues to upgrade her education and experience through participation in numerous workshops, seminars, courses, and committees, as well as Internet research and in-service training sessions. Cooper further supports her community - and encourages student involvement - through projects in support of U.S. military forces and veterans as well as other initiatives aimed at spreading cheer, joy and self-esteem. 

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.