Wapiti Elementary’s Catterton Wins Arch Coal Teacher Award

May 3, 2005 – After 14 years as an educator, Cindy Catterton has some feelings to share about the teaching profession. “Teaching has been so rewarding for me,” she says. “Seeing my students grow up to be successful learners and people has brought me great satisfaction.

“Teachers have so much influence over their students,” Catterton adds. “We shape the future, and I would tell anyone thinking of entering the field of education that I believe it is one of the most important and interesting careers in the world.” 

Teaching has other rewards, as Catterton learned 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 School. 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.

“Cindy Catterton is involved in community and school events,” said Leer. “In the valley where she lives, these are oftentimes intertwined. She is active in ensuring the success of her students and her community. We’re proud to honor her.”

Catterton teaches at Wapiti Elementary, in Cody, Wyo. “The project-based learning I use in my classroom allows students to be immersed in worthwhile, real-world problems, to work collaboratively and to learn across the curriculum,” she notes.

“While I find the field of education to be more exciting today than ever, I also believe it is more challenging for teachers,” Catterton adds. “Advances in knowledge and technology have changed the role of a teacher. We no longer simply present facts for students to memorize. They must learn how to learn, learn how to work cooperatively and collaboratively, and learn how to think.”

Catterton earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio; as well as a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in education from the University of Wyoming at Laramie. An advocate of lifelong learning for students and teachers, Catterton takes advantage of a number of educational, professional and other developmental opportunities. She serves on the Math Summit and the Teacher Evaluation committees and has taken classes in guided reading, writing, Lindamood-Bell, computer technology and teaching mathematics developmentally. Knowing she has contributed to the field of education by mentoring a number of other educators is Catterton’s most gratifying achievement. She also participates in a number of community-betterment initiatives.

In addition to recognition, recipients receive 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.