Buffalo Ridge Elementary’s Broda Earns Arch Coal Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 29, 2009) – John R. Broda’s teaching and life philosophies are one and the same – to be a role model and to be prepared for anything. “Being an educator is a very influential job. You have to realize there are numerous little eyes watching and imitating your every move,” says Broda, a nine-year teaching veteran. “I cannot expect a student to work hard and be a good citizen if I do not model that very same behavior. I believe there are so many more things taught to students outside textbooks and standards. As we teach, life happens for these young folks. I pride myself in finding the teachable moments in their lives.”

Today Broda received yet another opportunity to be a positive role model. He is 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.

“John Broda believes students must be held to a high standard,” says Leer. “At the same time, he feels the most important thing he can do for students is simply be there for them and make sure they feel special. John is very proud to be called a teacher, and we’re proud to be able to recognize him here today.”

Broda teaches general education subjects to fifth-grade students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary. “The love of teaching is far-reaching for me,” he notes. “The enjoyment I receive when a student suddenly begins making connections to real-world or previously taught information is astonishing. When students move on, it fills my heart to see them succeed.”

“I think Mr. Broda is a great and creative teacher,” says his student, Lynda Pace. “He makes it very clear that he is there to help us! Mr. Broda also makes it clear that we absolutely need to learn. He gives directions to our work and helps us when we don’t understand,” she adds. “You see, Mr. Broda is a very responsible teacher, so he wants to pass it all on to us students.”

Broda earned a bachelor’s degree at Minnesota’s Bemidji State University and a master’s degree at Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass. He is working toward National Board Certification, serves as a mentor teacher and is a trainer for CHARACTER COUNTS! He and his students received national awards from the Renaissance Corporation for successfully implementing individualized, computer-generated educational software in the classroom, and Broda helped develop the first Renaissance model library in Wyoming. In 2004, he was one of only 200 educators selected nationwide to represent the U.S. educational system in Japan as part of the Fulbright Memorial Fund. Broda further serves his community through involvement in extracurricular education, sports and civic initiatives.

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: