Education

Elkins’ James Beatty Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Recipient

CHARLESTON, W.VA. (March 1, 2006) – James C. Beatty believes all students have a hidden desire to learn. “Our job, as teachers, is to extract that desire and empower students to realize their individual educational potential,” he says.

“Every day, every class, every student is a different, yet potentially rewarding struggle in the great educational realm. Teachers have to enter the classroom with a positive outlook and believe that they will reach every student, no matter how difficult the circumstance. A person has to be extremely dedicated to the profession of teaching in order to be successful,” Beatty says.

Beatty’s teaching philosophy – and dedication – are right on target. Today he was among only 12 teachers statewide to receive a 2006 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Robert W. Shanks, president of Arch Coal’s eastern operations, representing 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; First Lady Gayle Manchin; Secretary of Education and Arts Kay Goodwin; Deputy State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jack McClanahan; and West Virginia Education Association President Charles Delauder.

“James Beatty doesn’t limit his classroom learning to strictly agricultural learning,” Leer says. “He knows that his students must also have other skills to be successful. For example, he incorporates leadership skills and public speaking into his curriculum.”

Beatty teaches agriculture, forestry and animal science courses at Elkins High School. “Mr. Beatty makes his classes fun and entertaining, yet remains serious so that students can learn within the agriculture program properly,” notes agricultural student Tyler Spencer. “As an adviser, he will always help when help is needed. He takes time out of his life to train Future Farmers of America teams to compete at the state level to the best of their ability. There have been times we have been at the school until 8 p.m. in order to increase our knowledge about the contests in which we are competing. As students, we choose to stay to learn because of Mr. Beatty’s passion for teaching.

“He will even help students in their other classes (that he doesn’t even teach) to help them succeed in all their classes,” Spencer adds. He loves his students and should be honored for this. If there is anyone who should receive this award, it is Mr. Beatty.”

Beatty earned an associate degree at Potomac State College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees at West Virginia University. He has trained at the state and national levels on development and integration of various curriculums. Beatty attended the FFA’s National Delta Conference, which is limited to 50 educators nationwide. He also attended a National Agricultural Education in-service that was limited to two teachers per state.

He has served on committees that affect curriculum/career development at the state level and was one of only 25 W.Va. educators selected to formulate questions for Agricultural and Natural Resources exams. Beatty is an Outstanding Young Agricultural Teacher for West Virginia award recipient, and he was one of six honorees chosen by the National Association of Agricultural Educators as an Outstanding Young Teacher for 2004-2005. He also received national recognition as a Teachers Turn the Key recipient, a professional development seminar limited to one teacher per state each year. Beatty was inducted into the Gamma Sigma Delta National Honor Society of Agriculture in April 2005. He further supports his community through involvement in a number of agricultural organizations and school-related activities.

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 the West Virginia Library Commission 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 and mines clean-burning, low-sulfur coal exclusively. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Information about each of the 12 recipients is posted on the Arch Coal Web site: www.archteacherawards.com.