Hamilton Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Recipient

PRICE, Utah (May 8, 2008) – While there are many motivations in the teaching profession, Connie Hamilton, who has taught for 36 years, says her greatest is “that I care for all children and want to see them succeed.”

The sixth grade teacher at Castle Heights Elementary in Price is committed to showing her students that she not only has a vested interest in their education, but that she strives to show them that she cares about them on a personal level.

“I not only care about my students as the people they are now, but also as the people they will become,” she notes.

Today, Hamilton was honored for her special efforts with her students, as she is one of only five Utah teachers to be named a 2008 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award recipient. Announcement of the award was made at a ceremony at Castle Heights Elementary School by Erwin Sass, general manager of Dugout Canyon mine. Sass was joined by Jim Porter, High Desert UniServ director for the Utah Education Association.

“Connie Hamilton is devoted to her students,” says Sass. “She provides the teaching and personal support necessary for her students’ academic and social success.”

“Teaching is far more than simply conveying the required curriculum to the students,” states Hamilton. “Teachers must inspire students to learn and to be good citizens. My role is to guide student discovery.”

Hamilton believes students learn by doing, so she has many hands-on activities in her classroom. She also believes that her students must learn to effectively work in a collaborative environment, so she often seats her students in groups of four so they can assist, mentor and coach one another.

Says colleague Kristen Taylor, Hamilton is “passionate about her work. She goes to work every day and loves being there. Students instinctively feel her passion and respond with enthusiasm.”

Hamilton holds an associate degree from the College of Eastern Utah, a bachelor of science Degree from Utah State University, and 55 hours of post graduate studies from Utah State University and Southern Utah University. In addition, she has received more than 600 hours of recertification credits, has served at the district level as a math site trainer, a Qualitative Reading Instruction trainer and a peer tutoring trainer. She has been a supervising teacher for the Utah State University Student Teacher Program, on the Utah State Office of Education Gifted & Talented Advisory Council, and, for the past 15 years, been an advisor to her school’s student government. Hamilton has been Utah ARTS Educator of the Year, named Outstanding Teacher in District 70 by the Utah legislature, recipient of the College of Eastern Utah’s Outstanding Alumnae Award, and Carbon County School District’s Teacher of the Year.

Hamilton feels her greatest contribution to her students has been creation of The Gallery of Sir Lear A Lot, a museum at Castle Heights Elementary. Hamilton raised $16,500 for the project and donated hundreds of hours to the project’s construction. The museum consists of five galleries that showcase students’ art work, literature and dimensional pieces. She also has been active in community efforts to raise funds for numerous projects and concerns, such as for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City, as well for local efforts, such as The Christmas Tree Regalia.

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a personal, $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. Nominations of the teachers are made by the public and selection is made by a blue-ribbon panel of the teachers’ peers.

This is the second year the Arch Coal Foundation has sponsored the teacher recognition program in Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties.

Supporters of the program include the Office of Governor Jon Huntsman, Utah State Office of Education, Utah Education Association, Utah School Superintendents Association, Carbon County School District, Emery County School District, Sevier County School District, North Sanpete School District, South Sanpete School District, Far West Bank, Market Express, radio stations KMTI, KLGL, KMGR, KSVC, KCYQ, KOAL, KARB, KRPX, and both TacoTime and Bookcliff Sales in Price.

The counties surround the Dugout Canyon, Skyline and Sufco coal mines owned by Arch Coal, Inc., one of the nation’s largest coal producers. Through its national network of mines, the company provides the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.

Arch Coal is Utah’s largest coal producer and a large, state employer with a workforce of approximately 800. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.