Manti Elementary’s Rasmussen Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

MANTI, Utah (April 29, 2010) –During his first year of teaching, Daniel G. Rasmussen’s principal gave him some sound advice. “She told me that students need an environment of safety – a place where they can share and be heard,” recalls Rasmussen, now a six-year teaching veteran.

“She also explained that many students come from single-parent homes and that it is important for the kids to see me as a strong, safe, sound person they can rely on,” he adds. “She said I needed to be a positive male role model in their lives. This is the whole purpose as to why I chose elementary education and why I spend my time as an educator. I receive motivation to teach by focusing on the kids. They are the most important reason I go to work each morning.”

Today Rasmussen discovered yet another reason to continue teaching – he’s good at it. Today he was one of only five Utah teachers to receive an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Arch Coal Senior Vice President Paul Lang made the announcement at Manti Elementary School. He was accompanied by State School Board Member Dixie Allen and Utah Education Association Executive Director Mark Mickelsen. This is the fourth year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Utah.

“Daniel Rasmussen believes the amount of time and effort we invest in our children today has a direct relationship to the quality of life we, as a society, will have in the future,” says Lang. “He is keenly aware of the need for a positive classroom environment and the great impact it can have on a child’s life.”

A Spring City resident, Rasmussen teaches third-grade students at Manti Elementary. “I think the most important thing I do for the students is to help them realize they are in control of their own learning and future,” he says. “I do my best to establish clear guidelines where the students know they can live, learn and grow. I have worked to develop my classroom into one of respect, responsibility and self-motivation.”

“My son, Jett, is in Dan’s class,” notes Sonja Jensen, a parent and Rasmussen’s colleague. “He enjoys his class and loves being able to feel he can get whatever he needs from his teacher. Just the other day, he told me ‘Mr. Rasmussen’s the best teacher I have ever had,’” she says. “I love that my son loves learning, and I have Dan Rasmussen, his teacher, to thank.”

Rasmussen earned a bachelor’s degree at Utah State University and a master’s degree at the University of Phoenix. He stays current with methods, ideas and research available in education through a number of venues, such as the Elementary Core Academy, a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference and observance of the Professional Learning Communities Program, which has a goal for all students to attain mastery in any core subject. When required to take the Praxis exam to re-license as a Level II Educator, he ranked among the top 15 percent of all teachers who had taken the test in previous years in the Elementary Education: Content Knowledge category. Rasmussen serves as coordinator of his school’s Seven Peaks reading program, through which students can earn a trip to Seven Peaks Water Park for 300 minutes of reading during March. He further supports his community through involvement in sports, community and church activities.

The Arch Coal Foundation’s teacher recognition program is available to classroom teachers in Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties. The counties surround the Skyline, Dugout Canyon and Sufco mines operated by Canyon Fuel Company, a subsidiary of major U.S. coal producer Arch Coal, Inc. Each recipient receives a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a $3,500 personal, cash award.

Partners for the program include the Office of the Governor, 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.

Arch Coal is Utah’s largest coal producer and a large, state employer with a workforce of approximately 800. Through all its operations, Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.