Education

Orchard View Intermediate School’s Cindy Evarts Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston, W. Va. (March 30, 2015) – A quote by Sir Isaac Newton about “standing on the shoulders of giants” inspired Cindy Evarts to pursue a teaching career. “I chose teaching as a profession so that I could be a part of that shoulder to stand on for students,” she said. “I wanted to help them to discover their own brilliance so that they would see further than they ever dreamed they could.

“Each year my students – combined with my own curiosity about the world – motivate me to continue teaching and learning right along with them,” she continued. “The most important thing I can do for my students is to create a classroom climate in which each child feels safe and free to explore new ideas, test conjectures and debate meaningful issues.”

As a result of Evarts’ ability to create a nurturing classroom environment, she received statewide recognition today. She was one of only 12 teachers to receive a 2015 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. John W. Eaves, Arch Coal’s 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 27th year the awards have been presented in West Virginia. It is the longest-running, privately funded teacher recognition program in the state.

“Teachers have long been revered for the role they play in a well-educated society, and we are especially honored today to recognize 12 outstanding West Virginians who were presented with a 2015 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award,” Eaves said. “The role of the classroom teacher is constantly evolving, requiring educators to continually adapt to new teaching methods, technologies and curriculum. These educators are excellent representatives of the many teachers who strive daily in the classroom to help improve the lives of West Virginia’s children. We applaud them for their unwavering dedication.”

Evarts teaches math and language arts to second- through fifth-grade students in the gifted program at Orchard View Intermediate School in Martinsburg. She has 29 years of teaching experience. “My teaching philosophy has grown out of an eclectic collection of experiences, experiments, thoughtful research and joyful interactions with students,” she said. “My strengths as a teacher lie in my enthusiasm for the pursuit of not only knowledge but enlightenment as well. I think that my students get caught up in my enthusiasm and enjoy debate and discussion ranging in topics from the most efficient way to complete a long division problem to the question of human rights and responsibilities.”

“Cindy Evarts has a highly advanced and thorough understanding of mathematics, which allows her to answer, and pose, questions in a way that promotes understanding and stimulates higher-level thinking and questioning in her students,” said Tara Livingston, fifth-grade teacher at Orchard View. “Her methods and teaching style are a model of student-centered learning.”

Evarts earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Salisbury State University, Salisbury, Md., and a Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. She also has received her National Board Certification in early adolescent mathematics and has pursued additional course work in advanced mathematics and robotics. Evarts is active in her church choir and provides guitar music for church and community events. A long-distance runner, she has raised money and awareness for cancer treatment and research through participation in marathons, and she works with the bereaved in honor of her 16-year-old son who passed away in 2010. As part of this effort, she organized and facilitates a monthly support group through the local Hospice for parents and families dealing with the loss of a child. Evarts resides in Hedgesville, W.Va.

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. 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. In West Virginia, Arch Coal and its subsidiaries employ about 1,800 people. For more information, visit archcoal.com.