Walsh Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (May 1, 2007) – Humor, encouragement and affirmation are mainstays in Kathy Walsh’s classroom. “My classroom is a positive, caring environment that lends itself to being a safe place, where each individual is valued,” she says.

With 30 years’ experience, Walsh teaches third-grade students at Slade Elementary School, Laramie. “My students and I work together to establish classroom climate, from setting class expectations to identifying learning goals. By sharing and fostering the learning, we function as a team.”

Today the team’s coach received special recognition. Walsh was one of only 10 teachers statewide to earn an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at Afflerbach Elementary School in Cheyenne. He was accompanied by Governor Dave Freudenthal, First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride, and Wyoming Education Association President Kathryn Valido.

“Kathy fully realizes the impact teachers have on their students and says it’s imperative for teachers to be self-reflective about their instruction,” says Leer. “She sees learning as a complex process and the opportunity to teach so others may learn a privilege.”

“Teaching allows me to inspire, encourage, cultivate and provide opportunities to transform learning into action,” Walsh notes. “I strive for student engagement, relevance to their own lives, and ultimately, having students take responsibility for their own learning.”

“Kathy’s reputation as an outstanding educator is unflawed,” says Debbie Fanning, Slade principal. “She maintains a clear vision for education and a strong philosophy of ‘what is best for our children.’ She models a set of convictions, educational beliefs and ethical behaviors that motivate those around her to perform at a higher level.”

Walsh earned bachelor and master’s degrees at the University of Wyoming, and has completed another 90 hours in continuing education. She continues her professional development through workshops and seminars and is an active participant in building and district committees and councils. She was named Outstanding Young Educator by the local Jaycees and was first runner-up at the state level. Walsh was twice nominated for the Albany County Education Association’s Teacher of the Year, and the University of Wyoming Mortar Board gave her a Tip of the Cap Award in recognition of her service with student teachers. Walsh further serves her community through involvement in church, civic and extracurricular education activities.

The award is underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation. In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500, unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque.

This is the seventh year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Wyoming. The program is supported by the Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, Taco John’s, Loaf ‘n Jug, and the Wyoming library community.

Arch Coal is one of the nation’s largest coal producers and employs more than 1,200 people in Wyoming. Arch Coal’s Black Thunder mine sells more than 90 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal on an annual basis. Located in Campbell County, Black Thunder mine is one of the largest and most efficient coal mines in the world. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.