Education

Encampment’s Cheryl Munroe Receives Arch Teacher Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 13, 2011) – After 38 years as an educator, Cheryl Munroe still enjoys teaching and learning. “I learn just as much, if not more, from my students,” she notes. “I hope that by being a conscientious, truthful and reliable teacher I have made a positive impact on their lives,” she adds. “I am happy to say that after teaching for all these years, I still like my job and enjoy all of its challenges.”

Today Munroe discovered yet another reason to appreciate such challenges. She was among only 10 teachers statewide to receive a 2011 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at Carey Junior High School in Cheyenne. Leer was accompanied by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Wyoming Education Association (WEA) Executive Director Craig Williams. This is the 11th year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Wyoming.

“As part of her culinary class, Cheryl Munroe’s students were required to take a national test, covering classroom lab sanitation and safety techniques,” notes Leer. “Although certified until 2013, she wanted to demonstrate the importance of keeping up-to-date and being a continuous learner, so she took the test, too,” he adds. “She passed – and was pleased to report she was ‘bested’ by one of the students by one point.”

An Encampment resident, Munroe teaches life skills, nutrition, health, wellness, clothing and textile courses to seventh- through twelfth-grade students at Encampment School. “My classroom is a safe and fun place to be, where students feel welcome,” she says. “Because I teach in a small, K-12 school, all ages of students interact and learn from each other.

“In my classroom, learning how to think and not just what to think is very important,” Munroe adds. “Meeting challenges and finding solutions are encouraged, and each student is treated as special, as they are all unique individuals. Many students with learning challenges are successful in my classroom,” she adds. “These successes lead to positive feelings about oneself, and when we like ourselves, we can face an assortment of challenges.”

Munroe earned an associate degree at Central Wyoming College in Riverton and a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming. She continues her professional development through training opportunities provided by the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Nevada’s Le Cordon Bleu, Sysco and the Culinary Art Institute, as well as workshops at Central Wyoming and Sheridan colleges and webinars by the textile industry. She is a recipient of grant funding through Central Wyoming College and the Wyoming State Department of Education. Munroe’s students have successfully represented Wyoming in culinary and management competitions at the national level. She is a member of the Xi Beta Delta Sorority, which sponsors the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Program and a health fair. Munroe also is a founding member of the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering, which annually celebrates rural life. She is the FCCLA, ProStart and Class of 2013 adviser. Her students assist with a number of community projects each year, including recycling and cooking/coloring 36 dozen eggs for the fire department’s annual Easter egg hunt.

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.

Longstanding supporters of the program are the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming library community, Taco John’s and Loaf ‘N Jug stores.

The Arch Coal Foundation also supports teacher-recognition and grant programs in West Virginia, Utah and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes.

U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is one of the largest coal producers in the world, with more than 160 million tons of coal sold in 2010. Arch’s national network of mines supplies cleaner-burning, low-sulfur coal to customers on four continents, including U.S. and international power producers and steel manufacturers. Arch’s Wyoming operations – Thunder Basin Coal Company’s Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines and the Arch of Wyoming operations – have a combined workforce of more than 1,800.

Information about each of the 10 current recipients, as well as past recipients, is posted at archteacherawards.com.