North Sanpete High School’s Cox
Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award
WELLINGTON, Utah (April 28, 2009) – Benjamin E. Cox believes every student needs a spark. “A teacher who loves what he teaches can instill in another person the same excitement for the subject; enthusiasm is contagious,” Cox notes. “Once the spark has ignited, students need a fuel source. As a teacher, I need to provide a rigorous, but not overwhelming course of study. Too little and the fire dies, but too much and the flame can be extinguished.
“I love it when a student connects with an author and is suddenly bringing me books because he or she can’t get enough of them,” Cox adds. “That is when I know I have helped to kindle a fire that will stay with this person for life. That is when I know I have done my job.”
Today yet another source validated Cox’s efforts. He was one of only five Utah teachers to receive a 2009 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. John Eaves, Arch Coal president and chief operating officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at Wellington Elementary School. Eaves was accompanied by Dixie Allen, state school board member, and Mark Mickelsen, executive director of the Utah Education Association.
“It’s good to see that Benjamin Cox finds teaching so rewarding,” says Eaves. “He believes teaching provides an opportunity to participate in shaping character, developing skills and lighting the flame of curiosity in a young mind. Every single day, teachers like Benjamin get an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of their students.”
Cox teaches English and journalism courses at North Sanpete High School, Mt. Pleasant, a position he has held for five of his seven years as an educator. “The greatest gauge of any teacher is his ability to enthrall students – to transform learning from a chore to something, dare I say, fun,” says Jeremy Ty Zabriskie, student and editor of the school newspaper. “Mr. Cox is a perfect example of this. He is able to grab students’ attention during any subject and to keep that attention for the duration of the class,” he adds. “I have never learned as much in any class as I have in his. I have never enjoyed any class as much as his. More importantly, I have never held any person in such high regard, and I am not alone.”
Cox earned an associate degree at Snow College, Ephraim; a bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University; and he’s working on a master’s degree. He also continues his education through college courses, subscriptions to professional magazines and participation in the Utah Education Association. Since he became chair of the school’s English Department, six new English course offerings have been added. A year after he re-introduced the school newspaper, it won second place in a Utah Press Association competition. He served three years on the school’s community council and two years as representative to the Utah Education Association. Cox is the National Honor Society adviser and coach of the boys’ tennis team. He also led a group of students and chaperones on an educational tour of Europe. In the community, he serves as a Scout Master, a member of the North Bend Entertainers and as a political delegate. Cox volunteers for church service projects and is a past Arch Coal Golden Apple Award recipient.
The award is underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation. In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a personal, $3,500 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, all former recipients of the Arch Coal award. The Arch Coal Foundation also is a supporter of teacher recognition or grant programs in West Virginia, Wyoming and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes.
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.
This is the third year the Arch Coal Foundation has sponsored the teacher recognition program in Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties. These counties surround the Dugout Canyon, Skyline and Sufco mines operated by Canyon Fuel Company, a subsidiary of major U.S. coal producer Arch Coal, Inc.
Arch Coal’s Canyon Fuel Company is Utah’s largest coal producer and a large state employer, with a workforce of approximately 800. Through its national network of mines, Arch Coal, Inc. provides 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.
Information about each of the five recipients is posted on the Arch Coal Web site: www.archcoal.com.