Education

Rosemont Elementary School’s Demi A. Lewin Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston, W. Va. (March 30, 2015) – “My father, a Greek immigrant, came to the United States when he was 14 with a sixth-grade education,” said Demi A. Lewin. “He always stressed to me the importance of a good education, believing that with hard work and education, his children could enjoy the American dream. His respect for education caused me to believe that becoming a teacher was a valued position in our society.

“I think of my teaching as a mosaic,” she continued, “each piece touching the other to create a captivating learning experience. I know I have been successful as a teacher when I see the faces of children – bright, concerned, excited, shy faces – that light up with understanding. This is the moment when my mosaic has come together.”

As a result of Lewin’s ability to develop her students, 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.”

Lewin teaches library science to Kindergarten through third-grade students at Rosemont Elementary School in Martinsburg. She has 31 years of teaching experience. “My teaching philosophy is that all children can learn and that teachers can make a positive difference to all students,” she said. “I believe that children have the potential to become great. I try to set myself up as a role model and to set a good example by showing kindness, optimism, humor, honesty, and respect for others.”

“I was a parent volunteer for Mrs. Lewin for the past 10 years,” said Linda Bell, family service worker. “Mrs. Lewin recognizes all her students. Her enthusiasm, energy and creativity are infectious for not only the students she teaches, but also for the staff and parent volunteers she works with. Her library is an exciting place to be, and her students soon realize that reading is an adventure in learning. The ability to inspire all of her students to explore the exciting world of books and reading qualifies her as an exemplary teacher.”

Lewin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in Reading from West Virginia University, Morgantown. She has completed additional course work at Indiana University, Shepherd University, Shenandoah University and at the West Virginia University Graduate School of Communications, and regularly has attended state and regional continuing education conferences and workshops. Lewin has been active in her church through youth education programs, served as president of the Parent Enrichment Group, Chairman of the Good Times Parent Group, and she is an officer of the Rosemont Elementary PTA. She also was one of the original educator volunteers who began the Providing Academics and Self-Esteem Support for Students program (P.A.S.S.). Other volunteer activities include serving as president of the Junior Civil League and chairing the Relay for Life and the United Way Campaign Drive at Rosemont. In addition, she is a board member for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival (CATF) at Shepherd University.

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.