Education

Pine Bluffs Elementary’s Fullmer Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 27, 2010) –After 15 years in the teaching profession, Stacie Fullmer believes the high expectations she holds for her students and her drive to help them achieve those expectations help set her apart. “At the beginning of each year, I explain to my students that I expect a lot from them, and I challenge them to achieve because I want them to be the best they can be,” she notes. “Academics is not the only area in which I have solid expectations for my students. Manners, behaviors and goal-setting are also included and are necessities for a student to succeed, not only in formal educational settings, but also in their future careers.”

Today Fullmer demonstrates how the drive to succeed can pay off. She 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.

“Stacie Fullmer sets high expectations for her students, but tailors those expectations to individual needs,” says Leer. “She wants her students to leave her classroom realizing they should not settle for good, but strive for great.”

Fullmer teaches fourth-grade students at Pine Bluffs Elementary. “My philosophy of teaching is to empower my students,” says Fullmer. “I want them to realize and accept that their fate is in their own hands and that they have the power to take themselves a great distance.

“I want to provide them [with] the tools that they need to learn on their own and pass on the excitement that I have about learning and the ambition to be self-directed learners,” she says. “I want to facilitate their learning through their emotions, social behavior and culture. It is my desire to help them become responsible decision-makers and to leave my room knowing that I have faith in them.”

“What I remember most about fourth grade is not the timed math tests or recesses,” says former student Sarah Skinner. “I remember how much Mrs. Fullmer cared for me. She went out of her way to make sure I understood what was being taught and gave me one-on-one time when I needed a little extra push. I was wanted and cared for. She made me feel important. I loved coming to school just to see Mrs. Fullmer.”

Fullmer earned a bachelor’s degree at Chadron State College in Nebraska and is working toward a master’s degree through Walden University’s online degree program. She has achieved National Board Certification and has co-chaired Pine Bluffs’ School Improvement Committee for the past seven years. Fullmer is mentoring another teacher toward National Board Certification, and she further serves her community through involvement in extracurricular education-related and athletic initiatives.

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.