Bob Robinson Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

March 15, 2005 - Due to a lack of formal training, Bob Robinson was a bit apprehensive about attending college as an art education major. “But once again I was shown how important a good teacher could be,” he recalls. “My professors had a wealth of knowledge, and I eagerly tried to absorb as much information from them as I could. Just as eagerly, they shared their expertise with me.

“Because of the positive examples art teachers had on me, I made a commitment at the beginning of my college career to become an educator who would unconditionally share what I have learned with my students. Thirty years later, I still possess the desire to learn and to share my knowledge with the students I teach.” 

With such a continuing commitment, there’s no question as to why Robinson deserves the honor he received today. He is one of only 12 teachers statewide to receive a 2005 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at the state capitol. He was accompanied by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin; Secretary of Education and Arts Kay Goodwin; State Schools Superintendent David Stewart; and West Virginia Education Association President Tom Lange.

“Bob Robinson is very deserving of this honor,” says Leer. “There are so many excellent teachers in the state. She is obviously among the ‘best of the best.’ Arch Coal believes classroom teachers, who nurture the love of lifelong education in our children, deserve the respect and admiration of all West Virginia citizens.”

Robinson teaches art courses at Parkersburg South High School, Parkersburg, W.Va. “The purpose of education is not only to teach students how to earn a living, but also to prepare them to live good lives – lives of satisfaction, security, truth, beauty and goodness,” he notes. “The visual arts, with their emphasis on aesthetic appreciation, capacity for drawing out creative talents and special requirement of individual performance, contribute substantially to the intellectual growth of students.”

Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania’s Westminster College and is a candidate for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. He has completed several postgraduate courses at West Virginia and Marshall universities and continues his development through workshops, institutes and academies. Robinson serves or has served on a variety of committees aimed at education enhancement. His professional affiliations include the West Virginia Visual Art Curriculum Refinement Team; West Virginia Professional Standards Board; Wood County Professional Staff Development Council; and the National Art Honor Society. He is a recipient of the Wood County Teacher of the Year award and a top finalist for 2004 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. Robinson is a recipient of the WV Secondary Art Educator of the Year; National Art Education Association 2003 Eastern Region Secondary Art Educator of the Year; and NAEA Art Educator of the Year awards. He further supports his community as a volunteer for several non-profit community organizations.

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education makes 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. Nominations of the teachers are made by the public and selection is made by a blue-ribbon panel of the teachers’ peers – previous recipients of the award.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer. Nearly 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, Mo.