Wind River Elementary School’s Chad Lemley Receives 2014 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Gillette, WY (May 7, 2014) – Chad Lemley believes that he is only one of the many “teachers” in his fifth-grade classroom. “One of the most important things I do is nurture the mindset that ‘all of us are teachers’ and are responsible for our own (and others’) learning, not just for this year, but throughout life,” said Lemley.  

“I strive to establish mutual respect and a classroom community where students understand that I’m not the ‘only one’ passing on learning,” he continued. “The best teachers work hard at thinking, actively listening and communicating our understandings. My effectiveness in this profession is getting to know all I can about students so I may better advocate for them academically, socially and personally.”  

As a result of Lemley’s ability to advocate for his students, he received statewide recognition today. He was one of only 10 teachers to receive a 2014 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. John W. Eaves, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a ceremony at Campbell County High School in Gillette. He was accompanied by Gov. Matt Mead, First Lady Carol Mead and Wyoming Education Association President Kathy Vetter. This is the 14th year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been presented in Wyoming. It is the longest-running, privately funded teacher recognition program in the state.  

“We’re honored to recognize the 10 outstanding Wyoming teachers who were named as this year’s recipients of the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards,” Eaves said. “Collectively, these 10 individuals represent all of the teachers statewide who are committed to making Wyoming thrive through educational excellence. Individually, they have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching children, and they work tirelessly each day to help their students succeed. For this, we applaud them.”  

Lemley teaches at Wind River Elementary School in Pavillion. He has 13 years of teaching experience. “My teaching philosophy reflects that learning is not passively absorbed, but experienced through active engagement,” he said. “Upholding this belief, I provide dozens of daily opportunities to share thinking and reasoning with partners, small groups and/or the whole class in all subject areas.”   “I have had the opportunity to work with Chad for the last four years here at Wind River,” said Charles Jenks, special education director. “Chad brings high energy and enthusiasm into the workplace. Students especially gravitate toward him and enjoy being in his classroom. His classroom is fast-paced with a lot of movement. His students know he cares about them and they work hard for him.”  

Lemley holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wyoming at Laramie, and he also attended Central Wyoming College in Riverton. He is pursuing his National Teaching Board Certification, and has twice been named an Arch Coal Golden Apple Awards recipient. He also has attended professional development sessions on Positive Behavior Intervention and Support and differentiated instruction. Lemley is certified as a trainer in the National Archery in the Schools Program to reach at-risk students. He also has organized several Central Wyoming College sponsored adventure camps for sixth- through eighth-graders in Fremont County, and he has proposed a similar concept that boosted summer school attendance and helped elevate student learning.

Teachers are nominated by the public, and a blue-ribbon panel of past awards recipients selects the annual winners. Each Teacher Achievement Awards recipient is presented with a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a $3,500 personal cash award.  

The Teacher Achievement Awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and are supported in program promotion by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming library community, Taco John’s and Loaf ‘N Jug stores.  

Arch Coal and the Arch Coal Foundation have a long history of supporting educational and community causes in Wyoming. The Arch Coal Foundation also supports teacher recognition or grants programs in West Virginia and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes. Information about each of today’s 10 Wyoming 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 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 Thunder Basin Coal Company, which employs nearly 1,800 people in Wyoming, operates the Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines. For more information, visit and