Paintbrush Elementary School’s Tracey Lawrence Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

GILLETTE, Wyo., April 30, 2015 – “If I can build rapport and a perfect learning environment, adjust to trends in education and teach students how to be creative, I’ve met my goal,” said Tracey Lawrence. “It is my job to help students improve by teaching them through an integrated learning environment filled with fun and engaging learning activities. I can make a difference in their lives by allowing them to create art!

“It is what makes me want to teach forever and what makes them want to learn,” she continued. “It is that one word we all long for in everything we do ... motivation. Motivating me to motivate them – all types of art materials and a sea of endless possibilities to create. We change the world by providing students with the skills and the knowledge to become leaders of tomorrow.”

As a result of Lawrence’s ability to encourage her students to create, 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.”

Lawrence teaches art at Paintbrush Elementary School in Gillette. She has 14 years of teaching experience. “I believe that all students can learn, and each and every student deserves the right to an unbiased, fair and safe education,” she said. “I believe that education is a continuous partnership, where the teacher is a resource for the student to learn new ideas, skills and concepts using a variety of methods. The most important thing I can do for students is to help them find a love for learning.”

“Tracey is an excellent teacher and is certainly well skilled and knowledgeable in her content area,” said Paul Waldum, Campbell County School District fine arts facilitator and fellow educator. “The commitment she feels toward her teaching is evident. She is a well-rounded individual and teacher who has a great rapport with her students. Through Tracey’s dedication, encouragement and enthusiasm, she has motivated students and provided them with a solid educational background in her content area.”

Lawrence earned an Associate of Arts degree from Sheridan College in Sheridan, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D. She is a student council co-advisor and a troop leader for the Girl Scouts. She volunteers and raises money for a number of civic organizations including the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Council of Community Services, the Ronald McDonald House and the Pennies for Patients School and Youth Program.

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

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