Education

Laramie High School’s Street Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Cheyenne, Wyo. (May 1, 2013) – Paul G. Street found excitement in teaching math to others, even at an early age. “Many people are fearful of math and find it intimidating and confusing,” Street said. “Tutoring my younger brother and his friends around our dining room table, I found that I could help bring them clarity and understanding. At times they reacted with excitement, sometimes with relief, but always with gratitude. I enjoyed unraveling the mysteries of math, and their responses reinforced the idea of teaching as a valuable and rewarding career.”

Street fosters three distinctive characteristics in his classroom: a relaxed, respectful atmosphere where students feel safe enough to take risks for the sake of learning; active engagement with interactive discussions; and mathematical rigor. “Teaching at the high school level offers me the perfect blend of challenging mathematics, as well as the opportunity to make deep connections with students,” he explained. “The classroom buzzes with activity as all students compare, collaborate and instruct one another.”

As a result of his ability to make connections with his students, Street received statewide recognition today. He 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.”

Street teaches math at Laramie High School. He has 31 years of teaching experience. “I believe that learning math is intrinsically rewarding,” he said. “There is beauty and truth in the logic and connectedness of mathematics. When students of any age understand a mathematical concept, they feel good and it shows. As students advance in math, they reach a place where mathematics explains and describes real-world phenomena and solves real-world problems. In addition to its inherent beauty, students get a glimpse into the power and usefulness of math.”

“It is easy to tell when there is an upcoming math test in any one of Mr. Street’s classes,” said Lingga Adidharma, one of Street’s students. “You will find students reviewing material as they walk down hallways, asking each other last-minute questions, and an air of anticipation looms over students as they enter the classroom. Mr. Street’s tests are notoriously hard. For most, however, it isn’t just about the difficulty level of the test that causes them to study so hard, but also the desire to strive to do the best one can do. Mr. Street demands the best and he provides us with every tool necessary to succeed.”

Street earned a bachelor of arts degree in math from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and a master of science degree in math from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He earned National Board Certification in 2009 and participates in additional coursework, workshops and seminars during summer months. He received the inaugural Harriett “Liz” Byrd Award from the Wyoming Education Association in 2007 for promoting multiculturalism and harmony in his work with the Laramie High School Multicultural Group, which he founded. Street also serves as the math department co-chair and is a member of Laramie High School’s leadership team. He also serves on the University of Wyoming’s Mathematic Education Endowed Chair Search Committee. Street helped start an elementary girls’ basketball program through the Laramie Plains Civic Center and he has served as the volunteer director of the basketball competition for the Senior Olympics in Laramie.

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 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. 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 archcoal.com.