Niobrara County High School’s Candy Dooper
Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Lusk, Wyo., May 4, 2016 – Candy Dooper, like many, was inspired to teach due to the influence of a family member. “My mother was my main inspiration for becoming a teacher,” she said. “She was a country school teacher and taught first- through eighth grades in a one-room school house. She often talked about the satisfaction she derived from seeing her former students become successful adults.

“I, too, have been in the profession long enough to see the ‘fruits of my labors.’ ” she continued. “It is tremendously rewarding to talk to former students who tell me how much their 401k has grown, thanks to my lessons on investing early, or that they passed the CPA test and attribute their interest in accounting to their high school accounting class. Sometimes it is hard for me to see that I am making a difference during the daily grind, but thankfully I can sit back and see that it is that consistent daily grind that helps to develop students into productive citizens as adults.”

As a result of Dooper’s ability to prepare her students for the future, she received statewide recognition today at a student assembly held at Niobrara County High School. She becomes one of only 10 Wyoming teachers to receive a 2016 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. This is the 16th year the awards have been presented in Wyoming. It is the longest-running, privately funded teacher recognition program in the state.

“We are honored to present Candy Dooper with an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication to the teaching profession and to ensuring the success of her students,” said John W. Eaves, chairman and chief executive officer. “She is among the many outstanding Wyoming classroom teachers who strive diligently each day to provide their students with a high-quality education. We congratulate them all for their professionalism and commitment to enriching the lives of their students and ensuring a bright future for the state.”

Dooper teaches business courses to ninth- through 12th-grade students at Niobrara County High School. She has 30 years of teaching experience. “I believe every student should become prepared to be a useful and productive citizen,” she said. “I believe a strong sense of self and enduring self-confidence comes from experiencing successes in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. As a career and technical educator, I am passionate about helping my students develop skills that will assist them in securing employment, whether they need a job while they are attending college to help pay their tuition, or if they decide to enter the workplace directly after graduation.”

“I have been a student of Mrs. Dooper’s for three years, and have been under her instruction in the Future Business Leaders of America organization at our high school,” said Lexie Dockery, a student at Niobrara County High. “I have been enrolled in College Accounting 1 and College Accounting 2 instructed by Mrs. Dooper and I have since decided to pursue a career in agricultural business because of her instruction in these two classes. Her positive outlook and upbeat attitude make any student want to excel in her classroom and beyond.”

Dooper earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Montana State University in Billings, and has received her National Board Certification. She is a member of the Wyoming Business Education Association, the Wyoming Association for Career and Technical Education and the Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues. She is the school’s advisor for the Future Business Leaders of America, and is a volunteer for the Niobrara County Library.

Teachers are nominated by the public, and a blue-ribbon panel of past awards recipients selects the annual winners. Each recipient is presented with a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a personal cash award.

The Teacher Achievement Awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and are supported in program promotion by the Office of the Governor, the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Library Community, the Wyoming Education Association (WEA), Taco John’s and Loaf ‘N Jug.

“Teachers play a vital role in shaping the future,” said Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Their impact reaches not only their students and their school, but also their community and our state. I’m so proud to have a multitude of excellent educators in Wyoming and grateful that Arch Coal has supported teachers through this award for generations. Arch Coal is a wonderful partner in education and in recognizing, even in difficult times, the significant and valuable contribution made by these teachers.”

“The governor and legislators have made education a priority in Wyoming through investing in a great system and our Wyoming students; those dollars are paying off. Significant funding for K-12 comes directly from the mining industry and I would like to thank them for all they do to educate students in our state, as our students are truly our future. Recent reports show that Wyoming students lead the West, and the WEA is confident that support for a strong education in Wyoming will continue in the future,” said WEA President Kathy Vetter.

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. Information about Wyoming recipients, as well as past recipients, is posted at

U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. is a top coal producer for the global steel and power generation industries, reliably serving customers worldwide. Its network of large-scale, low-cost mining complexes is the most diversified in the United States, spanning every major coal basin in the nation. Arch Coal’s Thunder Basin Coal Company operates the Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines in Wyoming. For more information, visit