Education

Moorefield Elementary’s Sisler Named
Arch Coal Achievement Award Recipient

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (April 17, 2009) – Janet B. Sisler says she uses a “hook” in her Moorefield Elementary School classroom to encourage her students’ curiosity and to make them want to learn. However, the “hook” she uses encourages her students’ curiosity and makes them want to learn.

Today, it was Sisler’s turn to be inspired. Sisler was one of only 12 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 Clay Center in Charleston. He was accompanied by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, First Lady Gayle Manchin and West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee.

“Janet Sisler sees her students as individuals and holds herself accountable to teaching each child so that he or she achieves at the highest possible level,” says Leer. “She also understands that parental involvement is a key factor in a child’s learning, so she creates a positive relationship with families.”

Sisler is a pre-school reading specialist at Moorefield Elementary School, Moorefield. “I engage students in active instead of passive learning,” states Sisler. “Successful reading provides the necessary tool to use and share information in our technological world.” Her classroom is “student-centered,” where each student is expected to be an active participant. Sisler ensures this by making certain there are many activities that cause her students to work as a team.

“From the time I was a student in her third grade class, 18 years ago, our friendship has grown and I am still learning from her,” says David Smith. “She is one of the most detail- oriented and organized persons I have ever met. This allows her to be very efficient in not only reaching a few, but every student on an individualized basis. She has an uncanny way of making each student in a class feel that he or she is in a one-on-one teaching session.”

Sisler has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, plus 45 hours of additional college credits from West Virginia University. She has taught for 29 years, with 25 of those years in the Hardy County schools. She has attained National Board Certification and is a member of the WVDE K-3 Reading Cadre. Sisler was the Moorefield Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2007, the 2007 Hardy County Teacher of the Year, a finalist for West Virginia Teacher of the Year in 2008 and a recipient of the Arch Coal Golden Apple award in 2008. She also facilitates Title I parent involvement activities and training in her community.

She is a 4-H leader, has mentored two Chinese children who moved into her community 10 years ago, helps organize donations of Girl Scout cookies for soldiers serving in the Middle East and supports the funding of an Operation Wildflower site. She has served on two local school improvement councils, helped establish a children’s library close to Moorefield’s Hispanic community and has participated in the planning and execution of a summer learning program entitled “Summerfest.”

“Leading by example conveys to the children around me the value of working with and for others and helps youth focus attention outside themselves,” says Sisler. “I am inspired when young people I have mentored become responsible citizens who are active participants in the community.”

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $3,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of WVEA, makes a $1,000 award to each recipient’s school, 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, the 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.

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

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. In West Virginia, Arch Coal subsidiaries operate the Mountain Laurel and Coal-Mac operations. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.