Education

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

Charleston, W. Va. (March 31, 2014) – When financial circumstances prevented Lorraine Davis from attending college immediately after high school, she let a quote by Pulitzer Prize Winner David McCullough, “Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love,” become her driving force. After 18 years in the banking industry, she decided to follow her dream and become a teacher.

“Now my lifework is the work that I love,” she said. “As I arise from my bed in the early morning hours, I look forward to the day that lies ahead. I feel privileged to walk in my classroom each morning and impart some knowledge to the future generation, and my goal is to arm my students with an education that will allow them to chase their dreams. The ability to read, write, reason, question and challenge are weapons our students need to attain before they begin their quest, and I want to be there assisting in their preparation to conquer the world.”

As a result of Davis’ ability to prepare her students to follow their dreams, she received statewide recognition today. She was one of only 12 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 the Clay Center in Charleston. He was accompanied by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee. This is the 26th year the awards have been presented in West Virginia. It is the longest-running, privately funded teacher recognition program in the state.

“We’re honored to recognize the 12 outstanding West Virginia teachers who were selected as this year’s recipients of the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards,” Eaves said. “If a solid education is the foundation upon which an individual builds a successful life, then excellent teachers are the mortar that holds the foundation together. These 12 individuals are great examples of the many committed teachers who strive daily to educate our children and make West Virginia a stronger state.”

Davis teaches English to eleventh-grade students at Tug Valley High School in Williamson. She has seven years of teaching experience. “When you care about your students, you quickly realize that education is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement,” Davis said. “In my classroom, I have students with varying abilities, and it is my responsibility to differentiate my lessons to meet the needs of each student.”

“Lorraine Davis is an incredibly intelligent, kind-hearted, wonderful person,” said Alex Muncy, one of Davis’ students. “She is respected by all because of her astounding teaching techniques and her ability to bring out maximum potential within all of her students. She is my favorite teacher.”

Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in English education from Marshall University. She has completed the technology integration specialist program, which requires the completion of 320 hours of technology professional development in one year, and she also has attended a number of other technology conferences. She is a member of the county’s teacher leadership team, which assists other county teachers in developing their skills and teaching strategies. Davis is the site coordinator for the GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduates) program, which helps increase college readiness for Tug Valley High School students. She also organizes the school’s annual “welcome back” event and hosts numerous after-school events to help educate students and their families on the college application process and how to complete the free Federal Student Aid application.

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 West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of WVEA, also presents a $1,000 cash award to each recipient’s school for use with at-risk students.

The Teacher Achievement Awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and are supported in program promotion by the West Virginia Department of Education, the WVEA and the West Virginia Library Commission.

Arch Coal and the Arch Coal Foundation have a long history of supporting educational and community causes in West Virginia. The Arch Coal Foundation also supports teacher recognition or grants programs in Wyoming and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes. Information about each of today’s 12 West Virginia recipients, as well as past 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 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 and its subsidiaries employ about 1,800 people. For more information, visit archcoal.com and responsible.archcoal.com.