Education

Stegelman Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Recipient

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (May 1, 2007) – Being a teacher requires more than just teaching students, according to Terri Stegelman. “We must also be a counselor, nurse, social-skills trainer, behaviorist, technology geek and record keeper,” she notes.

“At my small school, flexibility and willingness to change are the two most important characteristics of our teachers,” Stegelman adds.

It’s also likely to be among the reasons Stegelman was honored today. She became 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.

“Terri is one of those special teachers who goes out of her way to ensure her students’ success,” says Leer. “If one method doesn’t work, she tries something else, using whatever materials and techniques are available to assist all students.”

Stegelman teaches special education courses at Wapiti Elementary, Cody. “My favorite students are those with the most severe disabilities,” she says. “It is a challenge to determine which skills to address and the best method for teaching those skills.

“Some of the most rewarding times are when a student masters a new skill that I know they have worked a long time to learn. It may be something as simple as holding a crayon or saying my name for the first time,” she adds. “It makes me feel extremely good to know that I had a hand in helping them learn the skill.”

With 20 years of teaching experience, Stegelman earned an associate’s degree at Casper Community College and bachelor and master’s degrees at the University of Wyoming. She holds Early Childhood Special Education certification and serves as administrative assistant to her school principal. Stegelman was instrumental in getting better Internet service for her school, eliminating the need for students to travel to a different school for testing. She also supports her community through a number of volunteer initiatives and other education-related 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.