Arch Coal Names Hill Teacher Achievement
PRICE, Utah (May 8, 2008) – Diane Hill began her teaching career a little later than most – 20 years after starting college and rearing a family of five children.
“After completing a course of study that allowed me to get a job as a secretary, I knew I would return to school and get my teaching degree,” Hill states. Hill teaches math at Gunnison Valley Middle School, where she has been employed since the school opened its doors nine years ago.
Today, another set of doors opened for Hill. She was named one of only five Utah teachers to receive an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Announcement of the award was made at a ceremony at Castle Heights Elementary School by Arch Coal, Inc. Senior Vice President of Operations Paul Lang. He was joined by President of Arch Western Bituminous Group Gene DiClaudio, General Manager Wess Sorenson of Skyline mine, General Manager Ken May of Sufco mine and General Manager Erwin Sass of Dugout Canyon mine. Also at the ceremony were Ms. Dixie Allen, state school board member, and Jim Porter, High Desert UniServ director for the Utah Education Association.
“Diane Hill explains math concepts in a manner in which they are understood by her students,” says May. “She willingly spends the time necessary to ensure that each of her students learns and has an excellent foundation for higher math classes.”
“I determined that someday I would be a teacher who would help children who struggle – too smart for special education, but still needing extra attention and time from their teacher,” Hill says. “I have days when I wonder if I am making a difference. Then, I hear from former students who tell me that I helped them to understand math. My motivation to continue to teach comes from my students.
“The most important thing I do for my students is to show them that hard work pays off,” Hill says. “Determination is the key to success in math and in many areas of life. I try to show them how improving each day will help them in their future lives. It is important to me that my students feel successful during these critical middle school years.”
Three of Kolleen Jensen’s children have had Hill as their teacher. “As a parent, I was so impressed by her genuine concern in helping my children,” says Jensen. “She wanted them to understand and learn.”
As a 15-year teaching veteran, Hill is a lifelong learner herself. She has an associate’s degree in business from Brigham Young University, an associate’s degree from Snow College, a bachelor’s degree from Southern Utah University, and a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix. She also has earned Level 2 Math and English as a Second Language endorsements. Hill serves on the Math Curriculum Council for her school district, the Technology Committee at her school, and as her school’s seventh grade advisor.
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 Canyon Fuel Company’s Dugout Canyon, Skyline and Sufco coal mines owned by Arch Coal, one of the nation’s largest coal producers. Through its national network of mines, Arch Coal provides the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.
Canyon Fuel Company is Utah’s largest coal producer and a large, state employer with a workforce of approximately 800. Arch Coal is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.