Education

Rozet Elementary School’s Emily C. Driskill Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

GILLETTE, Wyo., April 30, 2015 – “Growing up I dreamed of the day I would become a teacher,” said Emily C. Driskill. “I could not wait to have my own classroom, with eager minds ready to explore the world around them. I wanted to change the world, and chose to do this one child at a time. I am 13 years into my career, and it is better than anything I could have hoped for. “Each day there is a new challenge, as well as a celebration,” she continued. “The most important thing I do for my students is believe in them. I have high expectations for all of them, every year. I believe each and every child is capable of growing as a learner, at his or her own level. I push my students to exceed their own expectations. I find ways to motivate them, sufficiently challenge them and engage them in our curriculum. This helps each child to strive to do their personal best.”

As a result of Driskill’s ability to challenge 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.”

Driskill teaches sixth grade at Rozet Elementary School. “I believe that teachers have to be flexible and embrace the challenge of learning new curriculum, as well as using new programs and technology to teach it,” she said. “I try to show my students that teaching is the same as learning: You should be flexible and willing to change if things aren’t going as planned. I encourage them to think and to question things, and to look for facts to back up their opinions.”

“I have taught alongside Emily Driskill for the past three-and-a-half years,” said Brian Roberts, a sixth-grade teacher at Rozet. “In this time, I have come to know her not only as the amazing and effective teacher that she is, but I also have been impressed by her drive to go above and beyond the call of duty for her students, school and community.”

Driskill earned an Associate in Arts degree in liberal studies from Merced College in Merced, Calif., and a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from California State University at Stanislaus. She serves on the Rozet Elementary Leadership Committee, Measures of Academic Progress Team and the Olweus (anti-bullying) Team. She was the2005 Wyoming D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year and was honored this year as the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year for Wyoming. She also was named by the Gillette News Record as one of Ten Who Made a Difference for her work with veterans. Driskill also is the founder and treasurer of the Campbell Country School District Students without Tobacco and Alcohol (SWAT) team.

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.