Arch Coal Names Boley Teacher Achievement Award Recipient

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Feb. 27, 2008) – Meadow Bridge kindergarten teacher Linda G. Boley’s personal feelings and beliefs about teaching, she says, are best described in a quote by Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan: My heart is singing for joy this morning. A miracle has happened! The light of understanding has shown upon my little pupil’s mind, and behold, all things are changed.

“I strive to create a classroom community where every student has the right to achieve success, where children feel loved and treasured, where uniqueness, creativity, exploration and discovery are celebrated, and where learning is a joyful experience!” Boley notes. “The passion to teach is a unique gift and should be used to ignite the passion inside students.”

Today that passion was celebrated statewide. Boley is one of only 12 West Virginia teachers to receive a 2008 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, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine, and West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Charles Delauder.

“Linda Boley is the type of teacher students remember – for all the right reasons,” notes Leer. “She demonstrates her love and passion for education, making it an exciting path of discovery for students to pursue throughout their lives.”

With 26 years as an educator, Boley teaches kindergarten students at Meadow Bridge Elementary, Meadow Bridge. “I create a positive mental environment in my classroom by providing students the freedom to study and explore in an atmosphere where mistakes are acceptable and learning means taking risks,” Boley notes. “I sprinkle it with a reasonable amount of noise, mess, freedom and the gift of time for choice activities.

“At first glance, some children may seem shy and unresponsive,” she adds. “But after giving them a few minutes of attention and recognizing their own uniqueness, they welcome you into their own little worlds and into their hearts!”

Boley earned an associate’s degree at Beckley College, a bachelor’s degree at Concord College, a master’s degree at the W.Va. College of Graduate Studies, Institute, and a master’s degree +45 hours at Marshall University. She is pursuing National Board Certification and has participated in leadership activities throughout her career. Boley is a recipient of the 2006 Fayette County Teacher of the Year and Elementary Teacher of the Year awards and 2006 and 2007 Arch Coal Golden Apple Achiever awards. She also was nominated for the 2006 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, 2006 and 2007 Disney Teacher and Arch Coal Teacher awards and 2006 and 2007 West Virginia Celebrate Women awards. Boley has written, received and implemented 17 $10,000 grants, used to fund after-school and extended-year tutoring programs. She further supports her community through involvement in church- and library-related programs and activities.

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a personal, $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. Also, the West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of WVEA, provides public schools of the recipients with $1,000 grants 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, WVEA 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 is one of the nation’s largest coal producers. 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.