Cleveland Elementary’s Rasmussen Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

MANTI, Utah (April 29, 2010) –Vicki L. Rasmussen chose teaching as a profession because she’s always had a belief that she was put on this earth for a reason. “During my second quarter of college, I was inspired to volunteer at an elementary school,” she says. “I say inspired because I truly believe I was meant to become a teacher. After that experience, I knew without a doubt that being a teacher was one of the reasons why I was here on earth. I feel I have been given the gift of teaching, and it has always been sacred to me.”

Today the 30-year educator garnered recognition for that gift. Rasmussen 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.

“Vicki Rasmussen believes the most important thing she does for her students is to genuinely love them, make them feel she wants them in class every day and help them enjoy school,” says Lang. “She knows that children who do not like school find it difficult to learn, so she makes every effort to make them want to be at school, feel they are capable of learning and know she is there for them.”

Rasmussen teaches third-grade students at Cleveland Elementary. “I always try to do my best, because I know my students are counting on me to teach them what they need to know,” she says. “It is very motivating to see children master something they have had a hard time learning or see a struggling reader putting the pieces together to become a fluent reader. To see the progress a student makes in a year is very rewarding.”

“One of Vicki’s main goals as a teacher has always been to raise a child’s self confidence and to help teach them that learning is fun,” says Marilyn Allred, a former colleague, friend and grandmother of several of Rasmussen’s students. “She always creates an atmosphere of fun and comfort in the classroom. She feels that unless a child feels comfortable and good about themselves they cannot learn or achieve their full potential,” Allred adds. “Because of this atmosphere, her students have always tested very well at the end of each year.”

Rasmussen earned an associate degree at the College of Eastern Utah, Price, and a bachelor’s degree at Utah State University, Logan. Over the course of her career, she has taken hundreds of additional post-graduate hours with a focus on language arts, but also including computers, math, science, social studies and more. Rasmussen has studied with renowned educator Madeline Hunter and with Ethna Reed, a reading specialist. She has served on her district’s Literacy Committee for several years and as her school’s arts chairman. After her school won the prestigious No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon, Rasmussen was chosen to go to Washington, D.C., to receive it. She has been named Teacher of the Year by her school and Teacher of the Month by her district. This is the fourth year Rasmussen has been nominated for the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. She further supports her community through involvement in civic, community, quality-of-life, church and service-based 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.