Education

Barnard Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (May 3, 2006) – Cynthia Adams Barnard knew what she wanted to do with her life from the time she started kindergarten. “I was not sure what it was called, but I knew that I wanted to sing, play instruments and entertain,” notes Barnard. “Teaching was a natural progression for me. I found that sharing with others what I loved to do was well-received.

“A favorite phrase of mine is one that a friend gave to me in a card,” she adds. “It reads, ‘If only the birds with the most beautiful voices were allowed to sing, the forest would be silent.’ Isn’t that a powerful statement? Every child has a voice worthy to be heard.”

Today Barnard learned just how much her own voice matters. This 30-year teaching veteran became one of only 10 teachers statewide to earn a 2006 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony this afternoon at Johnson Junior High School. He was accompanied by Gov. and First Lady Dave and Nancy Freudenthal; Mary Kay Hill, director of administration for the Department of Education; Wyoming Education Association Executive Director Jean Hayek; and Arch Coal President and Chief Operating Officer John W. Eaves.

“Cynthia Barnard is a very impressive teacher, who says her weakness is that ‘she tries to save the world,’” says Leer. “I believe a teacher who sees the big picture and tries to improve upon that world is a teacher we all can admire.”

Barnard teaches music, public speaking and check-booking at Douglas Middle School, Douglas, Wyo. “As a teacher, I feel one of my strengths is compassion,” she says. “We laugh a lot in my class. We also, at times, are nearly drawn to tears when a piece of music touches our souls, or when tragedy strikes a member of our community.

“Being visibly aware of what children need and want is important to me,” she adds. “I rejoice at seeing the light bulb flicker at first, and then blaze brightly as they master a music concept.”

Barnard earned a bachelor’s degree in music education (B.M.E.) at the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in fine arts (M.F.A.) at Arizona State. She continues her development through additional college courses and participation in state, regional and national music conventions. In 1999, Barnard’s statewide colleagues presented her with the Outstanding Music Educators Award. She further serves her community through church activities, by mentoring women upon their release from the prison and through involvement in school-related extracurricular activities.

In addition to recognition, teacher achievement award 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, Loaf ‘n Jug, and the Wyoming Library community in program promotion. This is the sixth 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 produces more than 90 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.

Information about each of the recipients is posted on the Arch Coal Web site: www.archteacherawards.com.