Huntington Elementary’s McElprang
Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award
WELLINGTON, Utah (April 28, 2009) – Teri L. McElprang chose to become a teacher for one reason: “I love children; it’s as simple as that,” she says. “A seasoned teacher once told me to find something in each child to love, even if it is the way that child’s hair is combed,” she adds. “I believe that philosophy even to this day. If your students feel that love emanating from you, they will blossom under your tutelage.
“Henry Adams stated, ‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops,’” McElprang adds. “No other profession has such an impact on the future. Teaching is not a high-paying profession. Yet its rewards are boundless.”
McElprang received yet another of those rewards today. She became 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.
“Teri McElprang believes anyone interested in becoming a teacher must have a true love for children – that it’s the core for teaching,” says Eaves. “In counseling those considering the profession, she says a teacher should enter the classroom with knowledge, enthusiasm, optimism, compassion, discipline, fortitude, organizational skills – and love.”
A 25-year veteran educator, McElprang teaches second-grade students at Huntington Elementary School. “Years ago, teaching was like clothing – one size fits all,” she says. “Yet to get an exact fit, we must be tailored to the size that suits us best. And in order to achieve an exact fit in instructing my students, I tailor to their individual learning styles.”
Eden Thrower has had a long, unique association with McElprang. “She was my second-grade teacher 23 years ago, and I thrived in her class,” Thrower notes. “More recently, she taught two of my children, and if we live here next year, I hope my third child will be in her class.
“Mrs. McElprang knows how to connect with students and inspire them,” Thrower adds. “A few days ago, I watched her doing an exercise with her class, and she took the opportunity to point out to me how smart they are. We need more teachers like her, teachers who show confidence in their students.”
McElprang earned a bachelor’s degree at Utah State. She is working toward achieving math endorsement and has applied to the master’s program in education at the University of Utah. McElprang undertook instruction in scientifically based research strategies for reading, and she has implemented weekly monitoring of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills reading test. She is director of Huntington Elementary’s end-of-the-year program, which includes every student from kindergarten to sixth grade. McElprang volunteers for the PTA Valentine Carnival each year, and she is an active participant in church activities.
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.