Education

Amy L. Gerber Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

May 3, 2005 – Amy L. Gerber became a teacher because she wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. “Watching my students succeed is far and away the biggest motivation for continuing my teaching career,” she notes. “Everything, from watching the proverbial ‘light bulb’ come on during a single lesson in class to watching students walk across the stage on graduation day, inspires me to keep teaching.

“The truth is, I love what I do,” Gerber adds. “This career has been an amazing choice, and although it is exhausting, hard and sometimes frustrating, I would not trade it for any other career. I am proud to teach and fundamentally believe I make a difference in the lives of the kids.”

Gerber’s colleagues, students and others agree. Today she became one of only 10 teachers statewide to earn a 2005 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony this afternoon at Buffalo Ridge Elementary. Leer was accompanied by Governor Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, Wyoming Department of Education Chief of Staff Lisa Skiles Parady, and Wyoming Education Association Executive Director Jean Hayek.

“Because Wyoming is fortunate to have so many dedicated, caring and qualified teachers, our award selection process is extremely competitive,” said Leer. “Among all the applicants, our panel of teacher-judges identified Amy L. Gerber as an exceptional classroom teacher. Arch Coal is proud to honor her.”

Gerber teaches biology, environmental science and tropical marine ecology at Cody High School, Cody, Wyo. “As a parent, I appreciate her dedication to teaching the youth of our community,” notes Gerber’s co-worker, Linda R. Skeen. “She is a role model for the young women and men who are investigating a future in science-related fields. She motivates her 

students to be aware of their role in the environment in which they live. She wants students to be proactive and pay attention to their stewardship of the future. It is my opinion that Mrs. Gerber is of the highest caliber and emulates the true spirit of teaching.” 

Gerber earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. She has taken courses in local geology, natural history photography and marine biology to learn more about these topics and to incorporate that information into her teaching methods. She developed a field study course in which she and her students travel to Andros, Bahamas. “It is not enough to simply tell my kids about coral reefs,” she says. “Instead, I take them there and show them!” Gerber further supports her community through involvement in a number of programs and projects.

In addition to recognition, each teacher award recipient receives a $2,500 unrestricted, personal cash award, a distinctive trophy and a 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 Loaf ‘n Jug in program promotion. This is the fifth year Arch Coal has made the awards in Wyoming.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer and employs approximately 900 people in Wyoming. Arch Coal’s Black Thunder mine sells more than 90 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal on an annual basis. Located in Campbell County, Black Thunder mine is one of the largest and most efficient coal mines in the world. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.