Education

Craigsville Elementary’s Brown Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

Charleston, W. Va. (March 5, 2012) –Teresa D. Brown chose to teach because of a natural ability with children, with Children’s Church, babysitting and camp-counseling all being pre-teaching experiences. “I continue to teach because I have the best job in the world,” she notes. “It is gratifying to see successful students who attribute some of their success to me. Students who are now young mothers bring me their babies to hold and make me promise to be their child’s kindergarten teacher. Tough-boy, football players visit my classroom and tell me, ‘You’re still my favorite.’”

“I continue to teach because I have the same idealistic attitude and excitement I had on my first day. I believe more today than I did 21 years ago – I make a difference. Students come to school with more issues and struggles than ever before. I care about their lives, and a quality education is the least I can do to help them.”

While not the same as having a sweet baby to hold or hearing you’re somebody’s “fav,” Brown realized yet another reward today from “the best job in the world.”  She was one of only 12 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 an awards ceremony at the Clay Center. He was accompanied by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee.

“Teresa Brown’s teaching philosophy is simple – to help children succeed in life,” says Leer. “Because technology and industry are constantly changing, she focuses on the skills every person needs to succeed, such as problem-solving and tolerance. She helps students reach beyond their individual circumstances and inspires them to take advantage of every opportunity.”

With 21 years of experience, Brown teaches kindergarten students at Craigsville Elementary School, Craigsville. “The best thing I do for kids is to come to work with a positive attitude and to have a kind word for every student who walks through my door,” she notes. “I take the time to listen to them and build relationships with my students and their families on a professional and personal level. We learn to rely on each other and take responsibility for ourselves and classmates,” Brown adds. “I create an environment where my students feel secure and are free to take risks.”

Brown earned a bachelor’s degree at Glenville State College, and a master’s degree at West Virginia University. She also holds National Board Certification and mentors others in the certification process. Brown is the 2012 Nicholas County Teacher of the Year. She has continued her education through participation in a range of local, state and national conferences. Brown currently is working with the county’s early childhood coordinator to plan a Pre-K/Kindergarten Academy. She also is in a book study with colleagues exploring the role of students asking critical questions. Brown mentors new and student teachers, and as part of a cadre of teachers assembled by the WVDE, she is writing kindergarten Electronic Resource Packages (ERPs) for the Teach 21 website. Brown further supports her community through involvement in a range of church-related, 4-H and Reading Council programs and activities.

In addition to recognition, Teacher Achievement awardees receive a $3,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque. The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of WVEA, makes a $1,000 award to each recipient’s school for use with at-risk students.

The teacher recognition awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and supported in program-promotion by the West Virginia Department of Education, the WVEA and the West Virginia Library Commission. The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards is the longest running, privately sponsored teacher-recognition program in the state. Nominations are made by the public, and selection is made by a blue-ribbon panel of the teachers’ peers – previous recipients of the award.

The Arch Coal Foundation also supports teacher-recognition or grant programs in Wyoming, 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. In West Virginia, Arch Coal subsidiaries operate mining complexes at Beckley; Buckhannon (Imperial); Cowen (Eastern); Grafton (Tygart); Holden (Coal-Mac); Morgantown (Patriot); Philippi (Sentinel); and Sharples (Mountain Laurel).