Education

Rock Springs’ Romanowski Earns Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 29, 2009) – Newer colleagues sometimes ask 38-year teaching veteran Carl Raymond Romanowski why he hasn’t chosen to retire. “Quite simply, I believe I have more to teach and much more to learn,” he says. “To use an analogy from the game of football, I refuse to leave the field before the final whistle has blown. I have heard it said that if an individual thinks he is ‘done,’ he probably is. That is not the case with me.”

Obviously not. Romanowski remains at the top of his game, and he’s got the “stats” to prove it. Today he became one of only 10 teachers statewide to receive a 2009 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at the Buffalo Ridge Elementary School. Leer was accompanied by Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride and Wyoming Education Association (WEA) Vice President Craig Williams.

“Carl Romanowski believes the most important thing he does for his students is to provide awareness of the impact of making the right decisions in life,” says Leer. “His health classes no longer focus on memorizing the parts of the ear or the chambers of the heart. He now deals with the very serious and important issues facing today’s students – substance abuse, relationships and depression, to name a few. His classroom provides a forum for students to express concerns and ask questions in a non-threatening environment.”

Romanowski teaches health, physical education and weight training at Rock Springs High School. “I have had the honor and privilege of knowing Mr. Carl Romanowski for almost 35 years, initially as a coach and mentor and later as a friend and patient,” says Dr. Mark O’Farrell, president of the Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners. “My relationship with Mr. Romanowski focused mainly on being a student and an athlete,” he adds. “He not only saw me at the moment for what I was, but more importantly, for what I could become. He instilled the very values and ethics that govern my personal as well as professional life today.”

Romanowski earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Idaho State University, Pocatello, and Administrative Endorsement from the University of Wyoming. Through the years, his continuing education has encompassed a wide range of courses, including many in technology, learning and thinking strategies. As a coach, he has kept up with trends in the field through numerous clinics and meetings with college-level coaches. Romanowski also has coached community baseball, football, basketball and track for 39 years. He is assistant coach of the women’s basketball team at Western Wyoming Community College, and he provides play-by-play commentary of high school football games for a local radio station. Romanowski is a member of the local chapter of the Lions organization. He teaches CPR and first aid to various groups and was recently asked to serve on the Rock Springs Planning and Zoning Commission.

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.

This is the ninth 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.

The Arch Coal Foundation also is a supporter of teacher recognition or grant programs in West Virginia, Utah and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes.

Arch Coal is one of the nation’s largest coal producers, and its Thunder Basin Coal Company subsidiary employs more than 1,200 people in Wyoming. Thunder Basin’s Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines sold 100 million tons of cleaner-burning, low-sulfur coal in 2008. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Information about each of the 10 recipients is posted on the Arch Coal Web site: www.archcoal.com.