Education

UW Lab School’s Nowell Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 13, 2012) – Stella Rios Nowell knew she wanted to become a teacher from the time she volunteered at elementary schools while in high school. “I was able to see how one person can make a difference in the lives of children,” she recalls. “I chose teaching as a profession to positively impact the lives of my students by instilling in them a love and excitement for learning.

“I am continually motivated to teach on a daily basis by watching the kids grow not only in their love for learning, but socially, emotionally, physically and academically,” Nowell adds. “I have a great class that brightens my day as they walk into the room with glistening smiles and strong enthusiasm to see what we will be learning each day.”

Nowell likely had one of those glistening smiles on her own face today. She was one of only 10 teachers statewide to receive a 2012 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a ceremony at South High School in Cheyenne. Leer was accompanied by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, Senator Mike Enzi, Representative Cynthia M. Lummis, and Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill. This is the 12th year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Wyoming.

“Stella Nowell says the most important thing she does for students is to seek to understand each as an individual, acknowledge strengths and areas for growth and to celebrate their individual achievements,” says Leer.

With 16 years of experience, Nowell teaches kindergarten students at the University of Wyoming Lab School. “I enjoy helping the students work through social and emotional difficulties to better handle future situations,” she says. “I look forward to helping them strengthen their physical abilities by providing engaging opportunities and celebrating successes. This includes everything from helping them learn to cross the monkey bars to holding a pencil and writing the letters of their names.

“I am motivated by enriching the academic environment to provide both interventions and enrichments to keep all of my students, regardless of ability, making great strides toward meeting high academic goals.”

Nowell earned a bachelor’s degree at Harding University, Searcy, Ark., and is working on a master’s degree at the University of Wyoming. She also has achieved English as a Second Language Endorsement and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. Nowell mentors pre-service teachers and is an active member of the local education association. She meets with legislators to lobby for positive change in education and serves on the NBPTS Reading and Language Arts Standards Committee. Nowell has taken courses in Quantum Learning, and she participates in Professional Learning Communities workshops. She has presented at the Wyoming School University Partnership, the Symposium for Social Justice and the National Council for Teachers of English. Nowell is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international organization dedicated to educational excellence, altruism and world understanding. She serves on the board of Wyoming Destination Imagination and is part of the Social Justice Reading Group. Nowell is a recipient of the Outstanding Community Member Jason Thompson Commitment to Diversity Award and further supports her community through volunteer 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.

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 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 Wyoming operations – Arch of Wyoming and Thunder Basin Coal Company’s Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines – have a combined workforce of more than 1,800.