Hunter Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Winner

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (March 5, 2006) – Margaret Hunter’s students gather daily for a morning meeting. “Students look forward to greeting each other and starting the day on a positive note,” Hunter explains. “We work to build a community of learners, who appreciate each other’s uniqueness and share in each other’s joys and difficulties.”

At the next morning meeting, the teacher has some of her own “joy” to share. Hunter is 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.

“Margaret Hunter says she is ‘revitalized’ each day by her students,” says Leer. “As much as that is true, I think her professionalism and desire to teach children adds to her ability to inspire her students, as much as they inspire her.”

Hunter teaches second-grade students at Williamstown Elementary, Williamstown, W.Va. “One important thing I do for my students is to help them discover and develop their strengths and identify ways to improve weaknesses,” she notes. “Together, we set goals and write statements addressing how to achieve those goals. In addition to these formal conferences, I confer with students regularly to discuss their progress or address any other areas of concern.

“I believe all students have the right to a fair and equitable learning environment,” Hunter adds. “That environment should be attractive, safe, supportive and respectful of students’ needs and learning styles. I believe that students’ time in a classroom should be spent on engaging activities that spark their curiosity and desire to learn and work productively with their peers,” she notes. “I also believe that is it my duty to make that kind of classroom a reality.”

Hunter earned her bachelor’s degree at Glenville State College, and a master’s degree at West Virginia University. She holds Early Childhood Generalist certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. An avowed lifelong learner, Hunter continues her development through classes, workshops and other training opportunities aimed at honing her skills and preparing students for the future. She is the recipient of three grants, all used to develop a schoolyard garden, used year-round for seasonal observations and other activities. Hunter participates in a range of church programs and involves students and parents in community activities, such as Operation Christmas Shoebox and tree planting. Her professional affiliations include the American Federation of Teachers and the National Science Teachers, West Virginia and International Reading associations.

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: