Education

Glenn Livingston Elementary School’s Audra Morrow Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

GILLETTE, Wyo., April 30, 2015 – “I chose teaching as a profession because I wanted to make a difference in a child’s life,” said Audra Morrow. “I didn’t just want a ‘paycheck,’ I wanted a job that I was passionate about, where I could be a positive influence and share my love for learning.

“My kids are what keep me motivated,” she continued. “There’s nothing like the light in a child’s eyes when they learn something new, or achieve that ‘ah ha’ moment. I love hearing, ‘Oh, now I get it!’ I believe that the most important thing I do for my students is to provide a comfortable, safe, positive learning environment in which each child is encouraged to become the best version of himself or herself. I achieve this by getting to know each student personally, learning what drives them, inspires them, excites them, thus developing a relationship of trust and respect.”

As a result of Morrow’s ability to instill self-confidence in her students, she received statewide recognition today. She was one of only 10 teachers to receive a 2015 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. John W. Eaves, Arch Coal’s chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a ceremony at Paintbrush Elementary School in Gillette. He was accompanied by Gov. Matt Mead and Wyoming Education Association Executive Director Ron Sniffin. This is the 15th 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 these 10 outstanding Wyoming classroom teachers for their long hours and great professionalism, which provide a high-quality education for the students of the state,” Eaves said. “They exemplify the spirit and dedication of teachers throughout Wyoming who continually adapt to new teaching methods, technologies and curriculum while striving to help their students achieve heights they never thought possible. We applaud them for their efforts and congratulate them on today’s achievement.”

Morrow teaches fifth grade at Glenn Livingston Elementary School in Cody. She has 14 years of teaching experience. “I view myself as a learning coach,” she said. “As such, it is my job to provide the essential tools and to motivate each student toward individual success. I adjust style and strategies for each individual student. I believe my primary strength is my ability to blend high expectations for all students, with making learning fun. Beyond assuring that all of my students achieve proficiency in fifth grade my primary goal is to be molding life-long learners.”

“Ms. Morrow has the extraordinary ability to accommodate the learning styles and needs of children of very different aptitudes and abilities within the classroom setting,” said Frederick Faltin, father of a former student. “She succeeds in giving extra help to those who need it, and moving the full class group through common materials, while at the same time providing enrichment opportunities for those who need and will benefit from additional challenges. We found her advice to be uniformly insightful and helpful to us as parents. Perhaps most importantly, she succeeds in doing all of this with an exceptionally sensitive and kind personal manner that puts parents at ease, and makes all the children feel welcome and valued.”

Morrow earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and a Master of Arts degree in multicultural education from National University in La Jolla, Calif. She also has a teaching certificate from National University and has received her National Board Certification in literacy. Morrow has participated in the Wyoming Writers Project and participates with several other teachers in adult writing groups to hone her craft. She also is a member of the district’s Curriculum Leadership Committee, which is tasked with writing the K-12 curriculum. Morrow is a board member of the Cody Gifted and Talented Foundation, volunteers with a riding program for handicapped individuals and organized a writing club for third- through fifth-grade students.

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. The company controls more than 5 billion tons of high-quality metallurgical and thermal coal reserves, with access to all major railroads, inland waterways and a growing number of seaborne trade channels. 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.