Education

Bradley Elementary School’s Meadows Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston, W. Va. (March 28, 2013) – Amanda Sammons Meadows was introduced to the teaching profession by a great role model — her father. “My dad is a teacher, and I remember tagging along when I was 10 years old to a shelter for abused women and their children,” Meadows said. “I worked with the younger children and knew in that moment that teaching was for me!  

“I am motivated every day by the look on my students’ faces when they accomplish something they didn’t realize they could do,” she continued. “The most important thing I do for my students is believe in them and love them. I explain to my students that I don’t give everyone the same thing. However I give each child what they need to be successful and productive.”  

As a result of her success at motivating her students, Meadows received statewide recognition today. She was one of only 12 teachers to receive a 2013 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. John W. Eaves, Arch Coal’s president and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a ceremony at the Clay Center in Charleston. He was accompanied by West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee. This is the 25th year the awards have been presented in West Virginia, and it is the longest-running privately funded teacher recognition program in the state.  

“Arch Coal is honored to recognize all 12 West Virginia winners of this year’s Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards,” Eaves said. “Educators are the foundation of a strong, successful state, and we’re proud to have supported a generation of great teachers with this longstanding award.”  

Meadows teaches kindergarten students at Bradley Elementary School in Mt. Hope. She has six years of teaching experience. “I believe teaching is something you should be passionate about,” Meadows said. “I love to act. I once dreamed of packing up and heading to New York City to pursue an acting career. I now have a job where I put on a show Monday through Friday from eight until three thirty. I teach like I am acting: I teach with enthusiasm and love. Enthusiasm is contagious. If I have it, the students will also get it.”  

“Amanda Meadows was my son’s kindergarten teacher during the 2011-2012 academic school year,” said Allison Shriver. “He started the year knowing letters and sounds, and left a reader and a mathematician and with a scientific curiosity that he didn’t have before. But Mason also gained life skills working with his classmates, and considering the opinions of others. He gained kindness, sharing skills and independence. The foundation he built prepared him for the first grade, earning straight As on his first report card this year. This cannot happen without a strong foundation, which he undoubtedly had.”  

Meadows earned a bachelor of science degree in education and a master of arts as a reading specialist from Concord University in Athens, W.Va. She also is a National Board Certified Teacher, and has nearly completed more than 45 post-graduate educational credits. In 2010, she was named “Teacher of the Year” by Bradley Elementary, and she has received numerous grants for classroom supplies and activities to enrich her students’ learning experiences. Meadows is a member of the Breckenridge Missionary Baptist Church where she serves as the director of the Youth Sunday School. She is a volunteer in the school’s “Patch Club,” an after-school reading program for students and their parents. Her classroom also participates in the school’s annual food and gifts drive for needy families, and she plans and organizes the annual “Pumpkin Night” community fundraiser to supply funds for the school’s playground equipment.  

Each Teacher Achievement Award recipient receives a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a $3,500 personal cash award. 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. 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 West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia Library Commission are longstanding supporters of the program.  

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

Information about each of today’s 12 recipients, as well as past recipients, is posted at archteacherawards.com.  

St. Louis-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is one of the world’s top coal producers for the global steel and power generation industries, serving customers in 25 countries on five continents. Its network of mining complexes is the most diversified in the United States, spanning every major coal basin in the nation. In West Virginia, Arch Coal subsidiaries employ about 1,800 people. Arch Coal and the Arch Coal Foundation have a long history of supporting educational and community causes in West Virginia. For more information, visit archcoal.com.