Hulett Elementary’s Beth A. Marlatt Receives Arch Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 27, 2010) - Beth A. Marlatt views teaching as not just a job, but a privilege. “After nearly 28 years in the trenches of the best profession in the world, I still get excited about the day’s activities,” she notes. “I love to see the transformation of my students from the beginning to the end of the year and sometimes even from minute-to-minute.”

Today Marlatt herself underwent a transformation in status. Although previously recognized as an excellent teacher, today she ranks among the best in Wyoming. Marlatt was one of only 10 teachers statewide to receive a 2010 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at the Wyoming House of Representatives. Leer was accompanied by Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride and Wyoming Education Association (WEA) President Kathryn Valido. This is the 10th year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Wyoming.

“Beth Marlatt, like every other teacher being honored here today, knows that our children deserve teachers who will work tirelessly to engage them in relevant, challenging and motivating experiences,” says Leer. “That’s why, to improve education, Beth vigorously recruits the best of the best to become the teachers of our children.”

A Spearfish, S.D., resident, Marlatt teaches fourth-grade students at Hulett Elementary. “My true joy comes from being able to provide unique experiences,” she says. “Every year my students design, build and launch water-bottle rockets for our force-and-motion unit. We study and follow the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in the dead of winter. My classroom can be seen making sleds, dogs and acting like musk ox to understand teamwork. We get the community involved while writing ‘published’ books and creating full-length local history movies, with murder-mystery crime scenes for science. The ‘suspects’ are then arrested and taken to a county courtroom for a mock trial, complete with attorneys, both professional and actors.

“We also have made a quilt piece to honor Wyoming that hangs in the National Craft Museum in New York,” she adds. “It has been a privilege to work with such district and community support. My students learn to work hard, work as a team and celebrate success.”

Marlatt earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Black Hills State University, Spearfish. She served a four-year appointment to the Western Educational Support Team, a group of 16 educators from western states that collaborated on lessons, units and training. Over the last seven years, Marlatt’s classes have researched, written, filmed, performed in, edited and celebrated several local history movies that won Wyoming Historical Society awards. Marlatt has served as designer/director for the statewide Journey Thru Wyoming Project. In 2009, her class researched, wrote and illustrated an alphabet book about the local Vore Buffalo Jump Site that won National Book Challenge and Wyoming Historical awards. Marlatt further supports the community through charitable initiatives and activities that help preserve local history.

Each Teacher Achievement Award recipient receives a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a $3,500 personal, cash award. 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 Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming library community, Taco John’s and Loaf ‘N Jug stores are longstanding supporters of the program.

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

Arch Coal, Inc. is the nation’s second largest coal producer. Arch Coal’s subsidiaries Thunder Basin Coal Company and Arch of Wyoming employ approximately 1,800 people in Wyoming. Thunder Basin’s Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines produce approximately 12 percent of the annual U.S. coal supply. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.