Tug Valley High School’s Salmons Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston, W. Va. (March 28, 2013) – Amy Salmons chose teaching as a profession so that she could pass along her love of math to others. “I want to show my students how important math is to society,” she said. “My goal is for them to master mathematical ways of thinking and to build their confidence within themselves so that they want — and are prepared — to go to college.  

“The most important thing I do for my students is to provide them with opportunities to use math that ‘real’ people need and use in the real world,” she continued. “I provide them with the opportunity to gain math skills and the ability to problem solve. I work at creating an environment in which high expectations exist for all students and create opportunities so that all students can experience success.”  

As a result of her ability to bring math to life for her students, Salmons 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.”  

Salmons teaches advanced placement calculus, pre-calculus, trigonometry and math to ninth- through 12th-grade students at Tug Valley High School in Williamson. She has seven years of teaching experience. “All students have the ability to learn,” Salmons said. “Mathematics is a hard subject for students. However, I believe that mathematical understanding is essential for everyone, and every student should progress as far in this field as possible. My goal for my students is to inspire them to want to learn math and to continue their education past high school.”  

“Mrs. Salmons taught me it is OK to ask questions, to challenge anything,” said Sydney Chapman, one of Salmons’ students. “She educated me in a way that not many others have. I gained an exponential amount of knowledge under her instruction but also gained confidence in my abilities. She believes in students and wants them to do well.”  

Salmons earned a bachelor’s degree in fifth- though 12th-grade math and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Marshall University. She also holds a master’s degree in special education from Marshall and plans to pursue a master’s degree in educational administration. Salmons is a National Board Certified teacher and has twice attended the Teacher Leadership Institute. She is president of the Local School Improvement Council and frequently mentors other math teachers and participates in numerous tutoring sessions.  

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  

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