Education

Transitions Learning Center’s Robert Clark Hill Receives 2014 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Gillette, WY (May 7, 2014) – Robert Clark Hill’s career in teaching stemmed from his belief that each generation is responsible for helping the next generation become successful. “Twenty years ago when I began a career in construction, the generation ahead of me worked to guide my development in building trades and construction management,” he said. “I have since committed to my inner obligation to do my part in empowering youth to take control of their career choices and aspirations.  

“I believe in the value born of dedicated work,” Hill continued. “Each teacher that accepts this responsibility has an opportunity to build stronger generations and communities. I have chosen this as my course and now devote myself to the prosperity of the next generation. My motivation for teaching derives from a desire to provide opportunity for youth to participate in industry and become contributing citizens of society.”  

As a result of Hill’s ability to motivate 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.”  

Hill teaches construction and construction math to high school students at Transitions Learning Center in Casper. He has four years of teaching experience. “My philosophy is to make learning as authentic as possible so that knowledge can be transferred from education to a workplace setting,” Hill said. “I believe students learn differently, but they must ultimately be able to fit into the end product – a job. My role is to model, guide and then observe them work independently of me where the deepest learning takes place.”  

“I’ve known Rob Hill for about eight years as a peer professional and also as a friend,” said Carl Myers, a fellow teacher. “Rob’s talent and skill as an educator is evident when observing him work with at-risk students in ways that assure they see relevance and meaning in what they are learning. Rob provides these students with diverse and rewarding opportunities and strives to make real-world connections happen every day. His program consistency prepares students for trade-related positions in the real world, imparting to them content skills, but also a work ethic and character traits that will ensure a successful future.”  

Hill earned an associate degree in secondary education from Casper College and a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from the University of Wyoming at Casper College Center. He is pursuing a master’s degree in directorship of career and technical education at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Hill was named the New Teacher of the Year in 2012 by the Wyoming Association of Career and Technical Education (WACTE). He has served as president of the International Technical Education Association, Casper branch, and as president of the Wyoming Technical Education Association (WTEA). He also is a member of the executive board of the WACTE. Hill partnered with the Wyoming Department of Education on a pilot project where both his male and female students constructed cabins and received college credits along with the work experience. This program serves as a model for the new career and technical education school in Casper. Hill’s cabin and jobsite program also won national awards for curriculum design from the ACTE, was named the Innovative Program in Wyoming in 2013 for ACTE Region IV, and was nominated by WTEA as the Outstanding Community Program for 2014. He also participates in a number of community activities that serve the elderly and the homeless.  

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 archteacherwards.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. 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 archcoal.com and responsible.archcoal.com.