Education

Gunnison Valley’s Anderson Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

RICHFIELD, Utah (May 2, 2012) – Former teachers influenced Jodi Anderson’s choice of a profession, such as Mrs. Morgan, her second-grade teacher, and Mrs. West, who taught Anderson in high school. “The guidance of these women pointed me to a lifelong career in teaching,” recalls Anderson, now a 24-year veteran educator.

Students, however, are the foremost reason she continues to teach. “Children experience wonders each and every day as new discoveries develop in their learning,” she says. “They fill my life with happiness as I add to theirs. Making a positive difference in a child’s life is my mantra.”

Today Anderson received recognition for the lives she has touched – and the wonders she has shared. She was among only five Utah teachers to receive a 2012 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Arch Coal Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Lang made the announcement at Red Hills Middle School in Richfield. He was accompanied by Utah Education Association Executive Director Mark Mickelsen. This is the sixth year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Utah.

“Jodi Anderson believes all students learn when taught in a caring and loving environment,” says Lang. “She wants every child to be happy and to enjoy school.”

Anderson teaches fourth-grade students at Gunnison Valley Elementary. “Providing an environment where students feel accepted and loved is a vital part of my day,” she says. “This happens through interacting warmly and fairly with each child. Connections made with children contribute to their success. The direct correlation between teacher-student relationships and performance can be seen with my happy, intelligent students.

“Students are as different as fingerprints; they have diverse needs,” Anderson adds. “They are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses. I have the opportunity to blend their personalities into a team of scholars by learning and fulfilling their needs. When I notice a child is not participating well or isn’t making progress, it is a sign that my teaching needs to change. My motto is to try 100 different things with a child until the best approach surfaces. It always works.”

Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree, a professional teaching certificate and early childhood endorsement at Southern Utah State College and a master’s degree at Southern Utah University. She continues her professional development through university and district classes, webinars and reading materials by education experts. Through participation in Enhancing Math Education Through Distance Learning, Anderson created podcasts for students throughout the state to learn math skills that are part of the Utah State Core Curriculum. Upon completion of the two-year, 150-hour endeavor, Anderson received educational technology endorsement from the Utah State Board of Education. Anderson regularly attends Core Academy and Rural Schools, Utah Coalition for Educational Technology and Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics conferences. She was on the original team of educators selected for a national pilot research program, Accelerated Student Achievement. She has served as a grade-level coach and a teacher mentor. Anderson assists her faculty in use of technology and created a website for use by all fourth-grade students. She further supports her community through church, civic, charity and other 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.

U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is a top five global coal producer and marketer, and the most diversified American coal company, with more than 20 mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin. In 2011, Arch continued to lead the U.S. coal industry in safety performance and environmental compliance among large, diversified producers. Arch’s Canyon Fuel Company is Utah’s largest coal producer and a large, state employer, with a workforce of more than 750.