Arch Coal Names Martin Teacher
Achievement Award Recipient
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (March 5, 2006) – Upon learning Doug Martin took a $16,000 pay cut to become a teacher, some might think he’s a little “off,” according to Martin’s own admission. “When they find out I once worked as an imagineer for Walt Disney, it really blows their minds,” he adds.
“I have always had a burning desire to be a teacher,” Martin explains. “I wanted to someday return to my hometown and impart the knowledge, experience and skills I have learned to build confidence in my students, so that they could see for themselves that dreams do come true. If it could happen to Mr. Martin, it could happen to them.”
Today it happened to Mr. Martin yet again. He became one of only 12 teachers statewide to receive a 2007 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman 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; Arch Coal President and Chief Operating Officer John Eaves; and West Virginia Education Association President Charles Delauder.
“Doug Martin’s interest in teaching isn’t limited to students,” says Leer. “He also collaborates with colleagues because, in his words, ‘we have a crucial responsibility to educate and support one another.’ Sharing experiences, whether in business or in the classroom, encourages us to constantly find ways to improve.”
Martin teaches graphic design courses at the Mingo Career and Technical Center, Delbarton, W.Va. He believes all students can learn, grow and reach their full potential and has high expectations for them. In response, they deliver. This year alone, Martin’s students have won 18 art and design college scholarships, totaling more than $400,000.
“One of the most important things I do for my students is to provide unique learning opportunities,” Martin says. One such opportunity involved a letter he wrote to Governor Manchin. “As a result, my class was invited to the capitol to present Governor Manchin with a portrait they had created of him,” Martin explains. “Most of the students had never been to the capitol and had never met the governor. Consequently, this was an event they will never forget.”
He also has arranged for outings to art museums and even live interviews with Jim Davis, creator of the cartoon strip, Garfield. “I believe my greatest contribution in education is creating a classroom where students question, discuss and discover,” he says. “If I can’t take them to New York City to visit Time Magazine, I will set up a phone interview and bring New York City to them. The best learning is done with real-world experiences. Learning should be an adventure.”
Martin earned his bachelor’s degree at Concord University, and a master’s degree at Marshall University. He has mentored new teachers and supports veteran educators as well. Martin is the 2007 Mingo County Teacher of the Year and one of five finalists for 2007 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. He also was named one of the Top 10 Educators in the Nation by Technology and Learning magazine. Martin further supports his community through participation in church-related activities and other community-enhancement projects and programs.
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.
The teacher recognition awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and supported in program-promotion by the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia Library Commission. The Arch Coal 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, Inc. is the nation’s second largest coal producer. The company’s core business is providing U.S. power generators with clean-burning, low-sulfur coal for electric generation. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. 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.archcoal.com.