Education

Kinder Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Recipient

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (April 17, 2009) – Rick Kinder is familiar with the term “lifelong learner.” As a teacher, he says he has never stopped learning to teach.

Today, Kinder was rewarded for his teaching abilities. He 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.

“Rick Kinder’s teaching methods have evolved over the years to address how students have changed in the ways they process information,” says Leer. “He is an innovator in his classroom, meshing new technologies and 21st century skills so that his students learn the application of math skills.”

Kinder is an Algebra teacher at Gilmer County High School in Glenville. “My goal is to get students to learn, not memorize,” says Kinder. “I relate a topic to their experiences and then extend it to a real world problem. In order for a new concept to be put in long term memory, students need to be able to make a connection to something they understand within 18 to 24 hours.”

“Mr. Kinder is in his room an hour before classes begin to tutor students at all grade levels who may be struggling with math,” says his principal, Nasia Butcher. “And, he agrees to stay after school to follow up with these students who still need the extra time and help. He gives his personal time on weekends to help prepare students for the ACT or SAT tests. I’ve even seen him helping students with their math during timeouts and halftimes at basketball games.”

Kinder has a bachelor’s degree from Glenville State College and a master’s degree from Wheeling Jesuit University. He has taught for 27 years with 26 years in the Gilmer County schools. His classroom has been deemed by the West Virginia Department of Education a model 21st century classroom. Kinder has been developing his own teaching model called The Corporate Classroom. It is a hands-on, discovery approach to math learning that he describes as “making math fun for students and teachers alike.” He has been a part of or attended the Teacher Leadership Institute, West Virginia Mathematics Leadership Team, the county’s Staff Development Council, the Local School Improvement Council, High Schools that Work, Math Field Day and School-to-Work initiatives. Kinder also has served as his school’s Faculty Senate president and has coached several high school sports teams. He also has taught at Glenville State College.

In his community, Kinder has assisted at the Community Resources Center and helped establish a local church.

“One of the first things I tell students is that I care about them,” says Kinder. “Every student is important and I want them to know I will do anything I can to help them.”

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.