Education

Hurricane High School’s Grim Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (March 9, 2010) – Catherine L. Grim became a teacher because of her high school teacher, Mrs. Dunlap. “Upon first entering her class, one may have thought that she was cold and uncaring,” recalls Grim. “However, once she set the rules and we knew the boundaries, Mrs. Dunlap transformed into a very compassionate and interesting teacher. Within a short time, the entire class was hooked, and we loved the time we spent with her. During my senior year, I decided I wanted to become a caring teacher, just like Mrs. Dunlap.”

Although she likely met that goal years ago, Catherine Grim received widespread confirmation of it today. She was one of only 12 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 Clay Center in Charleston. He was accompanied by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee and Dr. Steven Paine, state superintendent of schools.

“Throughout her 24-year career, Catherine Grim’s teaching philosophy – all students can learn with help and kindness from their teacher – has remained the same,” says Leer. “While she adapts to help meet the needs of each student, her kindness remains the same. Mrs. Grim’s students, past and present, know she truly cares about them.”

A Scott Depot resident, Grim teaches business education courses at Hurricane High School, where she strives to fill her classroom with an encouraging, upbeat attitude. “My classes are electives that students do not have to take, and yet they line up to get into something I teach,” she says. “They know they are going to have a good time while they learn.

“I want my students to master the fundamentals of the class,” she adds. “However, I also want them to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers and problem-solvers. To meet these goals, I have tailored my classes so that students do not simply sit and observe. Everyone is continually engaged in some sort of discovery or problem-solving activity each day.”

Grim earned a bachelor’s degree at West Virginia State College and a master’s degree at the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, both at Institute. She has achieved National Board Certification (NBC) and continues her education through a wide range of training sessions, courses, conferences and programs, a number of which focus on utilizing new technology. Grim recently was accepted into Globaloria. After completing the program’s nine-day training session, she will be teaching students how to conceive and design an original educational computer game. During the summer of 2011, Grim plans to take training that will enable her to teach AP computer science, which will be a first for Hurricane High School. She serves as adviser of the school’s National Honor Society and further supports the community through involvement in a range of civic and community-betterment initiatives.

In addition to recognition, awardees 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 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 supports teacher-recognition or grant programs in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies the fuel for approximately 8 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. In West Virginia, Arch Coal subsidiaries operate the Mountain Laurel and Coal-Mac complexes. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.