Education

Sunset Elementary’s Gail Terry Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 27, 2010) - If Gail Terry could get one message across regarding her role as a teacher, she would express how important it is for learning to be fun. “I want each child to get up in the morning and feel as if he or she can’t wait to come to school,” says Terry. “Each nook and cranny of our room is filled with good books and things to touch, ponder, and maybe someday fondly remember,” she adds. “Most importantly, I want every child to believe he or she is a reader, author, mathematician and scientist.”

Here’s something else new and exciting for Terry’s students to learn – their teacher ranks among the best in the state. Today Terry was one of only 10 Wyoming teachers 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.

“Gail Terry strongly believes in encouragement – providing support and nurturing confidence in her students’ abilities, so that each can learn without fear of embarrassment,” says Leer. “She promises her students that there is no such thing as a foolish question. In fact, she celebrates mistakes in her classroom as part of the overall learning process.”

A 25-year educator, Terry teaches second-grade students at Sunset Elementary in Cody. “One of the best ways to determine a teacher’s effectiveness is through the eyes of the students they teach,” says Betsy R. Sell, assistant superintendent of the Park County schools and former principal at Sunset Elementary. “Students who’ve had Mrs. Terry as a teacher come back as young adults and marvel at the experiences they had in her second-grade classroom. Their testimonies are a tribute to this teacher’s dedication to the education of her students.”

Terry earned two associate degrees at Northwest College, Powell, Wyo.; two bachelor’s degrees at Montana State University, Billings; and 154 additional graduate credits in reading and writing literacy, developmental math, hands-on science, social studies and technology. Terry is a recipient of the National Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching, and she serves on the Northwest College Alumni and the Cody Reading Council boards. She further supports her community through involvement in community and civic initiatives and encourages her students to do the same. Through a pumpkin-growing project, Terry’s second-graders have provided financial backing for Spirit Mountain Hospice, Ronald McDonald House, Cody Cupboard and a Rheumatoid Arthritis Walk-A-Thon for a classmate during this school year.

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.