Education

Star Valley High School’s Fullmer Receives Arch Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 27, 2010) – Kelly Guy Fullmer became a teacher because he loved literature and couldn’t imagine a better way to spend his workdays than talking about great books. “I have remained a teacher for the last 15 years, because every day the students I teach make me feel excited, frustrated, rewarded, exhilarated, vital, tired, infuriated and fulfilled,” he says.

Today Fullmer could rightfully add yet another emotion to that list of feelings – pride. He 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.

“Kelly Fullmer knows teaching English builds the very foundation of lifelong learning,” says Leer. “Kelly doesn’t mind being accountable for a high-stakes subject area because he says he gets paid to do what he loves every day – teach.”

A Grover resident, Fullmer teaches English, media and journalism courses at Star Valley High School, Afton. “If a classroom can be a microcosm of the world outside, mine is,” says Fullmer. “I want the students to feel that within my room anything is possible.

“I hope they get the feeling that the wide variety and scope of my room’s decoration represent the diversity and variety that await them after high school,” he adds. “Above all, my room says to my students, ‘The teacher in this classroom is interested in the world and curious about its workings.’”

“During the years that I taught the same senior courses as he, I enjoyed picking his brain to see what theory or philosophical view he had to add to the topics of study,” says colleague Helen Merritt. “Students enjoy his class discussions and insight to life and literature.”

Fullmer earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree at Utah State University. He also has achieved National Board Certification and journalism endorsement. His school’s yearbooks have won best-in-state honors, and Fullmer has been recognized as Wyoming Journalism Advisor of the Year. He further supports his community through involvement in a range of community, civic, athletic and church activities.

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.