Richmond Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Winner

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (March 5, 2006) – John M. Richmond recalls the encouragement he received from teachers upon performing especially well on classroom assignments. “This positive reinforcement was the catalyst for working even harder,” he notes. “It instilled within me a special pride in doing my best, no matter what the task.

“Today, this positive attitude is reflected in my own classroom – an active and challenging environment that motivates students to grow and succeed through praise and encouragement,” he adds.

Richmond’s attitude reflects far beyond his classroom. Today it extended to Charleston, where Richmond 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.

“John Richmond uses art to help teach his students vocabulary, history and technology,” according to Leer. “All these lessons are conducted in a hands-on manner in an environment ripe for learning.”

Richmond teaches art courses at Hayes Middle School, St. Albans, where students engage in traditional drawing and painting assignments and create wall-sized murals, handmade books, hand-woven baskets and life-sized sculptures.

“I emphasize the use of technology in teaching and learning,” he notes. “Activities reflect creative technology integration – whether students are designing biographical PowerPoint slide shows on famous artists or creating CD inserts, using original, digital images,” says the 31-year teaching veteran.

“I try to provide positive opportunities for all students to succeed in my class,” he adds. “I know my enthusiasm for art is contagious, and I realize that although all my students will not become practicing artists, each can nurture a love of art, so it may enrich their lives as it has done for mine.”

Richmond earned his bachelor’s degree at West Liberty State College; a master’s degree at Marshall University; and +45 hours at Marshall’s graduate college. He continues to grow through involvement in numerous education and technology initiatives. Richmond was a finalist for Technology and Learning magazine’s Leader of the Year award. He was selected as a fellow for the National Gallery of Art’s Technology Initiative and to participate in the Fulbright Memorial Teaching Program. He has mentored beginning teachers and, as an adjunct professor, taught undergraduate art education courses at Marshall. His works have been displayed at Marshall, the Birke Art Gallery, the Alumni Art Exhibit at West Liberty State College, and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s Cultural Center Collectors exhibit. Richmond is an active member of the West Virginia and National Art Education associations. His students’ works are selected for numerous local and statewide exhibits.

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: