Gunnison Valley Elementary’s Hatch Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

MANTI, Utah (April 29, 2010) –Having come from a family of educators, Kiersten R. Hatch developed a deep appreciation and love for learning at an early age. “My father was an educator, mentor and coach for more than 30 years,” says Hatch, a 10-year teaching veteran and Centerfield resident. “I grew up in his classroom and loved the excitement of it. I loved being around the students, teachers, administrators and families.

“I knew from a very early age that this is what I would do for the rest of my life,” she adds. “It is and always has been a goal to teach and touch children’s lives. I consider it an honor to work with children daily and help them reach their fullest potential.”

Today Hatch achieved a milestone on the path to achieving her own full potential. 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.

“Kiersten Hatch believes teaching is a profession with the ability to change the world, by training the future engineers, scientists, doctors, secretaries and others who will run it,” says Lang. “She views the opportunity to participate in the lives of children a gift and thinks that nothing is more rewarding than witnessing a student’s discovery of a new concept.”

Hatch teaches third-grade students at Gunnison Valley Elementary. “My classroom is a safe place where learning is a constant. Excellence is a goal that as a class we strive to achieve,” she says. “The students in my classroom know that there is acceptance and understanding for each of them. We work together to achieve greatness.”

“The students in Mrs. Hatch’s class are well-grounded in math and reading, but they also develop a love for learning because of the multiple, rich experiences she gives them,” says Grant Hansen, principal of Gunnison Valley Elementary. “When I have a child I’m worried about, I make sure he or she is assigned to Mrs. Hatch’s class.”

Hatch earned an associate degree at Snow College, Ephraim, Utah, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southern Utah University. She holds endorsements in early childhood education and physical education and continues her education through a wide range of development initiatives at local, state and international levels. Working with the State Office of Education, Hatch helped set up an inclusion preschool for Garfield County. In addition, a proposal she wrote resulted in a $7,000 grant to furnish the preschool. Hatch helped develop an all-day kindergarten program for struggling students, and she helped write a $4,000 grant to set up technology in kindergarten classrooms. Hatch has served her community in various ways throughout her life and continues to do so through involvement in civic and community-betterment 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.