Madison Elementary School’s Lauren McCoy Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston, W. Va. (March 30, 2015) – Like many who end up in the profession, Lauren McCoy knew from an early age what she wanted to do with her life. “From the moment my young self entered Mrs. Desautel’s second grade class, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “Even though I was only 7 years old, I knew there was something special about teachers. The gentle spirit, sense of humor and passion for reading I saw in my teacher inspired me to enter a world in which I could touch the lives of children on a daily basis.

“Although a teacher’s hours are long and often thankless, I am extremely motivated to continue to teach,” she continued. “I feel a responsibility to help prepare students to do amazing things in the world, because the most important thing I do for my students is connecting their hopes and dreams for themselves to what they are doing at school each day. Teaching is a fire inside me that cannot be extinguished.”

As a result of McCoy’s enthusiasm for teaching, 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.”

McCoy teaches third-grade students at Madison Elementary School in Parkersburg. She has four years of teaching experience. “My teaching philosophy drives what I get up early to do each day,” McCoy said. “I believe that the purpose of education is to teach the whole child in an integrative approach that not only ensures learning in the classroom, but also inspires a love of learning that will make the hunger of knowledge a lifelong pursuit. I want to help students develop the skills they need not only for success in school, but also for success in life.”

“Lauren is a truly exceptional teacher,” said Joanna Mulligan, a fellow teacher at Madison Elementary. “While filling her classroom with the excitement, enthusiasm and creativity of someone at the beginning of her career, she also demonstrates the deep knowledge, expert skill and professionalism of a seasoned veteran. After spending only moments in her classroom, one recognizes Lauren’s steadfast commitment to excellence, both for herself and her students.”

McCoy earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (K-6) and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Ohio Valley University (OVU), Parkersburg. She also is certified in multi-category special education and autism for Kindergarten through sixth grade and she has participated in a number of professional development workshops. McCoy participates in the children’s ministry at her church and is an active member of Stepping Stones, which raises funds for OVU. She also volunteers for the many fundraising activities at her school, which raise money for books, various charitable efforts and the Parkersburg Humane Society.

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

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