Stiles Earns 2006 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

CHARLESTON, W.VA. (March 1, 2006) – Teaching is more than a profession for Lori E. Stiles. “It is a true calling from God,” she says. “Through my vocation, I have found the perfect way to combine all of my many interests and talents into one cohesive experience that leaves me sitting in my classroom at the end of the day tired, but in awe that they actually pay me to do this job.”

Today Stiles discovered yet another “perk” of her job. She 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.

“Lori Stiles’ classroom is not only a place of learning, it is a happy, safe and cheerful place,” says Leer. “Even though her students are challenged, she believes that all her students have the ability to learn and grow. Arch Coal appreciates her dedication to her students.”

Stiles, who teaches special education courses at Musselman High School in Inwood, once had a successful career in the corporate world. “I was able to write my own ticket and achieve great success in the boardroom,” she recalls. “But I soon found all the trappings and accolades that came with that success empty. For me, there was no heart, no soul in it. It was a fruitless endeavor that had me going through the motions without joy, and that is no way to live life.

“I wouldn’t trade my professional life now for twice my boardroom salary,” she adds. “The milestones I see my students achieve every day make me feel like I am contributing to the society and world that has so richly blessed me. As a special education teacher, I can truly say I make a difference in this world and in the lives of my students. You can’t put a price tag on that.”

Stiles earned a bachelor’s degree at Fairmont State University and is FSU’s first-ever master’s in education graduate. She earned a master’s in journalism at West Virginia University, and recently received Multicategorical Special Education Teaching Endorsement. Stiles serves as an adult companion through the Medicaid Waiver Program and works part time as a Qualified Mental Retardation Professional. As co-sponsor of the Thespian Troupe at Musselman High, she traveled with students to the American High School Theatre Festival at Edinburgh, Scotland in 2003. Students performed an original play, based on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, which Stiles co-wrote with her husband. Stiles has served as judge, hostess and session presenter at state and international thespian conferences and has participated in training opportunities encompassing special education, the arts, design and photography, first aid and crisis intervention. She further serves her community through church and community theatre 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: