Wheatland High School’s Peterson Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Cheyenne, Wyo. (May 1, 2013) – Liesl I. Peterson subscribes to the philosophy that if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. “It sums up an attitude of believing in my life’s work and living my dreams,” she said. “Every day I am excited to see what new learning will take place in my classroom. I do not think of my career as a ‘job,’ but more of an opportunity to change lives.

“I strive to find new and innovative ways to teach mathematics to high school students,” she continued. “It is important for all students to learn basic math skills. I know, like with any other subject, everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Thus, I always differentiate my instruction to meet the needs of each of my students.”

As a result of her focus on learning in her classroom, Peterson received statewide recognition today. She was one of only 10 teachers to receive a 2013 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. John W. Eaves, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a presentation ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda. He was accompanied by Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, First Lady Carol Mead and Wyoming Education Association Treasurer Jon VanOverbeke. This is the 13th year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been presented in Wyoming.

“Arch Coal is honored to recognize the winners of this year’s Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards in Wyoming,” Eaves said. “Great educators help build great states. Judging from the knowledge, skill and passion exhibited by this year’s recipients, we believe Wyoming has a bright future ahead.”

Peterson teaches mathematics at Wheatland High School. She has six years of teaching experience. “Math is everywhere in life,” she said. “I use many real-life problems in classroom examples and for homework problems. My hope is this will help my students to see the many different careers that require math. Through my expertise and my love of mathematics, I hope to help students understand and appreciate a subject I truly enjoy.”

“Ms. Peterson is one of the highest regarded educators within Wheatland and Platte County,” said Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Jones. “She works very diligently in the classroom to provide a positive experience for all her students. When working with troubled youth, she goes above and beyond the basic teaching requirements to provide students with confidence in their education and the ability to work on personal issues as well.”

Peterson holds an associate of science degree in mathematics from Casper College, a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and a bachelor of arts degree in secondary education from the University of Wyoming, and master of arts degree in mathematics from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Peterson was a presenter at Wyoming’s 2012 Best of the Best Conference and is Wyoming’s nominee for the 2013 National Foundation for the Improvement of Education Award. She also is Teacher of the Year for Platte County School District # 1. She is an active member and former treasurer of the local Philanthropic Educational Organization, which helps fund higher education for women through scholarships, grants and low-interest loans. Peterson also is a member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee for the Wyoming State Bar Association and participates in numerous civic organizations.

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 Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming library community, Taco John’s and Loaf ‘N Jug stores.   The Arch Coal Foundation also supports teacher-recognition and grants programs in West Virginia, Utah 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 Wyoming operations – Thunder Basin Coal Company’s Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines and Arch of Wyoming – have a combined workforce of about 1,750. Arch Coal and the Arch Coal Foundation have a long history of supporting educational and community causes in Wyoming. For more information, visit