Education

Cody High School’s Miller Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 13, 2011) – Lemuel “Chip” Miller’s classroom approach was greatly impacted by Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, accomplished physicist and founder of San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum. “His ‘roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty’ methodology has inspired my teaching from day one,” notes Miller, a 22-year teaching veteran. “My experiences with Oppenheimer and his museum have inspired me to take risks and to push my students and instruction to new norms.”

Miller pushes himself to new norms as well. Today he 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.

“Chip Miller says the classrooms of today and tomorrow need to cultivate a generation of thinkers; of new-era, renaissance students, who can deal with the many challenges the future will bring,” says Leer. “He also believes students need to comfortably blend the physical, technical, mechanical and biological worlds with the artistic, reflective, creative and communication talents inherent in all of us.”

A Cody resident, Miller teaches industrial and technical education at Cody High School. “As an educator, I feel most comfortable as a ‘guide on the side,’ rather than a ‘sage on the stage,’” says Miller. “Through this relationship with students and the encouragement of peer teaching, I have seen some great teachers emerge. I also have been fortunate to see a number of students continue their educations and become teachers,” he adds.

Miller earned two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree at Montana State University, Bozeman. He has continued his development through a range of learning opportunities, such as the Education Administrative Program at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Miller has served as a No Child Left Behind site director and was the only Wyoming teacher selected to assist in development of the National Standards for Technological Literacy. Miller has been an advocate for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Green education movements.

He has worked with NASA, The National Science Foundation and the International Technology Education Association (ITEA), serving the latter in a range of leadership roles as well. From 1988 to 1997, Miller developed one of the first articulated K-12 Technology Education Programs in the nation, an accomplishment featured in Redbook magazine and recognized by former Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diana Ohman. Over the course of his career, Miller has generated in excess of $190,000 in competitive grant funding for students and school programs. He is a member of Epsilon Pi Tau and a recipient of the Technology Education Association’s greatest honor, the Distinguished Technology Educator title. Miller has been published in professional journals, and he authored “Applying Technology” text for a Skills at Work series published by Southwestern Publishing Company. Miller further serves his community through a range of civic, community-betterment and extracurricular, education-related 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.

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.