Education

Taylor County Middle School’s Tracy Lynn Duncan Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Charleston, W. Va. (March 30, 2015) – “My mother said I told her in second grade that I was going to be a teacher, and I never wavered from that,” said Tracy Lynn Duncan. “I was one of those ‘nerds’ who practically revered her teachers. I couldn’t wait to be one of those people who got to do what she loved – math – and got to help others learn to love it, too.”

Duncan has 28 years of full time teaching experience. “My goal continues to be to instill a life-long love of learning and of math,” she continued. “Year after year, I want to continue my love of teaching and be one of those teachers with energy and compassion. And, every year I grow ever more thankful that I can still do what I love and love what I do.”

As a result of Duncan’s ability to impart a love of learning to 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.”

Duncan teaches math to seventh-grade students at Taylor County Middle School in Grafton. “It is my firm belief that, given the right support and appropriate level of challenges, all students can reach their fullest potential,” she said. “Some phrase that as ‘all students can learn,’ but I don’t think that says it all. Students need support, hopefully at home as well as at school, to maximize their success. A desire to learn is the start, but encouragement goes a long way, too.”

“Tracy Duncan is a dedicated, enthusiastic teacher who goes above and beyond to not only work with her students to help them become better students, but also to make our school community better,” said Lindsay Stepanek, a fellow teacher at Taylor County Middle School. “Her dedication, enthusiasm and leadership are unmatched and very much appreciated.”

Duncan holds a bachelor’s degree from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, and a master’s degree in learning disabilities from West Virginia University, Morgantown. She also has received her National Board Certification. Duncan participates in a number of church- and school-related volunteer activities including writing plays and working on family night activities, community Christmas caroling, the local food bank and more. She provides free math tutoring during her lunch breaks and works with the student council on projects such as canned food drives, working on the St. Jude Radiothon with a local radio station, making hats for kids with cancer, campus clean-up days, “penny wars” fundraisers for various cancer agencies, and she is also a bell ringer for the Salvation Army kettle campaign. Duncan resides in Flemington, 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.