Street Earns Arch Coal Teacher
RICHFIELD, Utah (May 2, 2007) – Elaine B. Street believes one of her greatest strengths as an educator is the power to use enthusiasm to motivate students who need to be challenged to go “outside the box.”
“I always find a way to become excited about the subject I am teaching,” she notes. “The students feel my love for the material, and they, in turn, are motivated to learn and venture beyond the norm.”
Today it was Street who ventured beyond the norm. She became one of five teachers to earn an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal’s chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at Ashman Elementary School in Richfield. Leer was accompanied by Dixie Allen, state school board member, and Ellen Thompson, vice president of the Utah Education Association.
“Elaine is one of those rare individuals who sees a need and does something about it,” says Leer. “While acting and directing for the local community theater, she realized students weren’t getting the same kind of arts education she received. So Elaine vowed to go back to school, get her degree, somehow obtain the theatre educator job at Richfield and put that school’s drama program back on the map. That was more than two decades ago. Today, Richfield’s theatre program boasts 15 regional championships and four first-place state titles.”
Street teaches language arts, theatre and stagecraft courses at Richfield High School. “Many adults ask what motivates me to keep teaching and working the long hours after 21 years,” she notes. “I always respond with, ‘The kids inspire me!’
“Every year in my language arts and theatre classes a brand new group of highly capable students is there, ready to be taught; and the greater majority of the time, they are there to push me beyond my knowledge with their questions and demands. I love to be challenged,” adds Street. “It makes me dig for answers, as I encourage my students to do.”
Street earned an associate’s degree at Snow College; a bachelor’s degree at Southern Utah State College; and a master’s degree at the University of Utah. As one of only 22 applicants selected for her master’s degree program, Street was given an opportunity to help stage-manage the Sundance Theatre Lab and to work with Tony award-winning actors Moisis Kaufman and Doug Wright. She also worked with her school counselor, Rick Pruitt, in writing and developing a Vietnam War play, The Healing Wall. The play was well received by the community and praised by Utah Education Association President Pat Rusk for its educational opportunities. Street continues her professional development through workshops, courses and related initiatives, including four upcoming classes at Southern Utah University. She further supports her community through participation in church, civic and other volunteer events. One such activity involved directing the “Christ in America” section of the Mormon Miracle Pageant.
The award is underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation. This is the first year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been presented in Utah. Classroom teachers in Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties were eligible. More than 150 nominations were received from the public. In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque.
The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards program is supported by the Office of the Governor, Utah State Office of Education, Utah Education Association, Utah School Superintendents Association, the Carbon, Emery and Sevier counties and North and South Sanpete school districts, Far West Bank, Market Express, KUSA FM/ KASL AM, and both TacoTime and Bookcliff Sales, in Price.
Arch Coal is Utah’s largest coal producer and a large state employer, with a combined workforce of approximately 800 at its Dugout Canyon, Sufco and Skyline mines. Through its combined operations, Arch Coal is one of the nation’s largest coal producers. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis.