Gunnison High School’s Burrell Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

GUNNISON, Utah (May 8, 2013) – Jesse Burrell said that teaching was “in his blood” from the beginning. “My father worked for Utah State University as a livestock specialist,” he said. “In my youth, I remember traveling with him around the state, visiting different ranches and helping them with their cattle breeding programs.

“As I ponder what has motivated me to continue teaching, I think of the times I spend interacting with students in the classroom and know that I simply enjoy it,” he continued. “Being able to help someone experience that moment when they just ‘get’ something is rewarding.”

As a result of his ability to help his students have those “ah-ha” moments, Burrell received recognition today. He was one of only five teachers to receive a 2013 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Paul Lang, Arch Coal executive vice president and chief operating officer, made the announcement during a ceremony at Gunnison Valley High School. He was accompanied by Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Utah Education Association President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh. This is the seventh year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been presented to teachers from Utah’s Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties, which surround the Sufco, Dugout Canyon and Skyline mines operated by Canyon Fuel Company LLC, a subsidiary of Arch Coal.

“Arch Coal is proud to recognize the recipients of this year’s Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards,” Lang said. “These educators challenge and inspire our children to explore and to dream. They are passionate about their jobs and generously share their abilities with their communities, and they lead by example to help children succeed.”

Burrell teaches agriculture, psychology and driver education at Gunnison Valley High School. He has 18 years of teaching experience. “My teaching philosophy has evolved to adapt with the changing times,” Burrell said. “In a world where students are entertained by the Internet and hand-held electronics, it can be a challenge to keep students on task. I have learned to incorporate media and electronics into the classroom to connect with the students’ needs.”

“Jesse was very instrumental in helping me learn and appreciate several aspects of science and agriculture,” said veterinarian Tyler Sorensen, a former student. “The love of science and agriculture helped shape my life and led me down the veterinary career path. Jesse instills a sense of work ethic into his students, always reminding them that in order to be successful, they need to put in the time and effort that is required.”

Burrell earned a bachelor of science degree in secondary and agriculture education from Utah State University in Logan and has obtained a biology endorsement from Utah State. He holds a master’s degree in educational counseling and a psychology endorsement from the University of Phoenix, Provo, and received a driver education certification from University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Burrell’s students have successfully competed in Future Farmers of America (FFA) proficiency competitions at the state level, and he has served as a national FFA proficiency judge. He is a past member of the Jaycees and received a Distinguished Service Award from the Gunnison Jaycees. He is active in the community and in his church, participating in highway cleanup projects and youth conferences, coaching youth sports and helping with Eagle Scout projects. He has more than 15 years of service with the local scouting program and has received the Second Miler Award for “going above and beyond.” He also has served as the logistics chairman for the Sanpete cancer walk.

Each Teacher Achievement Award recipient receives a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a $3,500 personal cash award. Nominations for the award 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 teacher recognition awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation. Longstanding supporters of the program are the 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, AmericanWest Bank, radio stations KMTI, KLGL, KMGR, KSVC, KWUT, KOAL, KARB, KRPX, and Market Express, TacoTime and Bookcliff Sales in Price.

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

Information about each of the award 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. Arch Coal’s Canyon Fuel Company is Utah’s largest coal producer, with a workforce of more than 700. Arch Coal and the Arch Coal Foundation have a long history of supporting educational and community causes in Utah. For more information, visit