Summit Elementary School’s Cinnamon Rae Dow Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

GILLETTE, Wyo., April 30, 2015 – “When I was in elementary school, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher,” said Cinnamon Rae Dow. “I remember asking for extra papers to take home and forcing my sister and stuffed animals to play school with me in my free time. Instead of toys for Christmas, I would request items such as bulletin boards, stamps, stickers and workbooks. Looking back, it seems teaching is something that has always come naturally to me.

“In the classroom, I have the unique opportunity to excite children about the world around them, and also support them in their personal growth as they celebrate their successes and challenges,” she continued. “I get deep satisfaction from watching children flourish. That look of pride and satisfaction on a child’s face and the amazing curiosity they have for learning keeps me going.”

As a result of Dow’s ability to get her students excited about learning, 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.”

Dow teaches first grade at Summit Elementary School in Casper. She has 12 years of teaching experience. “I believe that children need to be in a stimulating environment where they feel comfortable asking questions, taking risks and aren’t afraid to make mistakes because they know they are respected, trusted, loved and safe,” she said. “Each child is a unique individual, and I strive to be a positive influence in my students’ lives by opening their minds to new ideas, and constructing knowledge that will be beneficial to them.”

“Love of – and service to – children are two principal motivators in Mrs. Dow’s professional life,” said Anne LaPlante-Miles, principal at Summit Elementary. “Under her direction children flourish as Cinnamon infuses life and energy into their learning. Upon entering Cinnamon's classroom, one will notice a general ‘hum’ of productive activity as students are busily engaged supporting and encouraging each other during learning activities geared to their personal interests and needs. When Cinnamon works her magic, all students succeed.”

Dow earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a middle school endorsement from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Science in elementary reading and literacy from Walden University in Minneapolis. She has additional endorsements in K-12 special education and K-12 English as a second language from the University of Wyoming, and early childhood and early childhood special education from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S. D. She has attended additional professional development workshops and conferences on a number of topics using data for instructional purposes and at-risk interventions. Dow has volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeast Wyoming and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the University of Wyoming. She is a member of The Council for Exceptional Children and is a preschool through fourth-grade AWANA (Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed) teacher. Dow also volunteers for Upward Basketball, the College Heights Vacation Bible School and works in the nursery at her church. She also has helped organize a number of family fun nights at the school.

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. 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