Education

 Triadelphia Middle School’s Erica L. Alexander Receives
Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Wheeling, W.Va., March 17, 2016 – Erica L. Alexander knew at an early age she was going to be a teacher. “I decided to become a teacher in 1990 at the age of eight,” she explained. “I was a student in Ms. Parker’s second-grade class at Morristown Elementary School. She was a dynamic educator who always made learning interesting, exciting and significant. Ms. Parker opened my mind to new experiences, and I became passionate about learning.

“To this day, I believe in the power of education,” she continued. “I’m motivated to go to work every day because I have the distinct privilege of empowering young minds. Words cannot even begin to express the joy I feel when I watch my learners experience ‘light bulb’ moments. I love interacting with my seventh-grade scholars and helping them to achieve academic, social and behavioral goals.”

As a result of Alexander’s ability to help her students achieve their goals, she received statewide recognition today at a student assembly held at Triadelphia Middle School. She becomes one of only 10 West Virginia teachers to receive a 2016 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. This is the 28th year the awards have been presented in West Virginia. It is the longest-running, privately funded teacher recognition program in the state.

“We are honored to recognize an outstanding West Virginia teacher such as Erica L. Alexander with an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award,” said John W. Eaves, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer. “Her dedication to the teaching profession and to ensuring the success of her students will serve the citizens of the state well, both now and in the future. Erica is just one of the many West Virginia classroom educators who are constantly striving to adapt to new teaching methods, technologies and curriculum. We congratulate them all on their commitment to improving the lives of those in the state.”

Alexander teaches English Language Arts to seventh-grade students at Triadelphia Middle School in Wheeling, W.Va. She has 11 years of teaching experience. “I strongly believe that my students have the ability to achieve academic excellence,” she said. “It is my responsibility to give them every opportunity to succeed. Failure is not an option. I have committed myself to promoting classroom victories for every student by being supportive, encouraging and open­ minded. I have developed a routine that fosters achievement, and the students have assured me the process is challenging and effective.”

“Erica is an enthusiastic teacher that immediately captures students’ minds and hearts,” said Melinda A .Tripp, a fellow teacher at Triadelphia Middle School. “Erica’s students appreciate a love of literature, grammar and the writing process. Her classroom is full of actively engaged students learning to love school. They are productive, having fun and learning as well.”

Alexander earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, a Master of Arts degree in education technology from West Liberty University in West Virginia, and a master’s degree plus 45 hours of graduate level courses in instructional design from West Virginia University, Morgantown. She also has attended a number of professional development classes and seminars. She was named Ohio County’s Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce in 2012. She also volunteers for a number of school, church and community organizations and activities. Alexander resides in Flushing, Ohio.

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 personal cash award. The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of the West Virginia Education Association (WVEA), also presents a $1,000 cash award to each recipient’s school for use with at-risk students.

“The West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education are pleased to partner with Arch Coal as it recognizes some of the great teachers that work throughout our state,” said WVEA President Dale Lee. “Teachers are rarely honored for the hard work and long hours they put into providing a high-quality education for the students of our state, and I want to thank Arch Coal for recognizing our teachers. These teachers exemplify the spirit and dedication of their peers throughout the state.”

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. Information about West Virginia recipients, as well as past recipients, is posted at archteacherawards.com.