Lighthouse Life and Learning Center’s Bedont Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

MANTI, Utah (April 29, 2010) – After 24 years as an educator, Karen B. Bedont still isn’t sure if she chose teaching or if teaching chose her. “Teaching is something that is in your blood; teachers seem to have a different DNA,” she explains. “As appropriate, they can teach a myriad of subjects, set an example to young, impressionable children, be a surrogate parent, console and counsel troubled teens and be cheerleaders for students’ successes. Teachers do it all.”

After the success Bedont herself experienced today, she may get her own cheering section. She 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.

“As a youth-in-custody teacher, Karen Bedont inspires students to believe in themselves and to see what they can become,” says Lang. “She believes each individual is important and strives to see beyond the moment to the future for each young man or woman, regardless of their circumstances.”

Bedont teaches 10th- through 12th-grade students at the Lighthouse Life and Learning Center, Price. “Self-reflection allows me to change my way of teaching so that I can meet the needs of all students,” she says. “Tactile learners have a hands-on approach, and students with learning disabilities are taught with a slower pace of instruction, for example. These adjustments must be made in the classroom by the teacher, so that the doors of the future can be opened to each and every student.”

“Although Mrs. Bedont is an excellent educator, she means so much more than that to our school,” says Ashley Crowe, a Title 1 aide and Bedont’s associate. “She is the key motivator here, always wanting the best for everyone. Mrs. Bedont supports her students and helps them on their paths to success. In my two years at this school, I have noticed that the majority of students who come back to visit want to see Mrs. Bedont and share their success stories, knowing that she will be proud of how far they have come.”

Bedont earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah and a master’s degree through the University of Phoenix online program. She continues her education through a wide range of training and other development opportunities. Bedont serves as a mentor for three new teachers and further supports her school in numerous capacities. She has received awards and recognition throughout her career, including two Arch Coal Golden Apple awards. Bedont supports her community through involvement in additional school-related activities and a range of civic, church and community-betterment initiatives.

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.