Hurd Wins Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

RICHFIELD, Utah (May 2, 2007) – Rodney Hurd began teaching late in life; yet it wasn’t his first choice for a second career. “After serving as an officer in the Marine Corps from 1984 to 1994, I resigned my commission so I could spend more time with my family,” he notes. “I moved to St. George, Utah, and worked in construction, until I recognized that building was not my life’s calling. Reflecting back on my military career, I felt that the best part of my service time was spent teaching others.”

So Hurd went back to school to become a classroom teacher. That was 11 years ago, and today he was 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.

“Not everyone is willing or able to devote their lives to serving others,” notes Leer. “We applaud and are grateful to Rodney for his personal sacrifices to our country and to our children – our country’s future leaders.”

Hurd teaches government, history, law and economics courses at North Sevier High School, Salina. “My goal is to help each student find a way to use his or her learning style so he or she is triumphant in the classroom and successful in life,” he notes.

“I try to convey to my students that every moment they are learning is precious and demands urgency,” Hurd adds. “In all that I do, I try to let my students know my door is open. When they need help, I am available long after the last bell has rung.”

Hurd earned bachelor and master’s degrees at the University of Utah; a bachelor’s degree at Southern Utah University; and completed more than 22 hours in graduate courses. He continues his education as a participant and presenter in district, state and national workshops and conferences. Hurd’s professional affiliations include the Tri-State and Southern Utah History partnerships and the National Council for History Education. Serving as a Boy Scout leader for more than 20 years, he’s helped 20 young men earn Eagle Awards. Hurd further supports his community by volunteering for civic, humanitarian and other education-related initiatives.

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.