Education

Spring Mills Middle School’s Jeremy Anne Knight
Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Martinsburg, W.Va., March 23, 2016 – “It was probably destiny for me to become a teacher, for in my parents’ house intellectual curiosity was not optional,” said Jeremy Anne Knight. “At the dinner table my parents encouraged our curiosity and modeled how good teachers ask challenging questions. I admired many of my teachers growing up. One of my most influential high school teachers noticed I had a knack for explaining and guided me to the school’s tutoring program. From the first time one of my students had an ‘ah-ha moment,’ I was hooked on teaching.

“I continue to teach because I love it,” she continued. “All of it – the classroom interaction, the building of the students’ confidence in math, the working with young people, the helping children in all aspects of their lives.”

As a result of Knight’s ability to adapt to her students’ individual needs, she received statewide recognition today at a student assembly held at Spring Mills 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 Jeremy Anne Knight 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. Jeremy 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.”

Knight teaches math to eighth-grade students at Spring Mills Middle School in Martinsburg. She has 18 years of teaching experience. “I believe that teaching can never be static,” she said. “It has to change year-to-year, day-to-day, student-to-student. All students deserve a teacher who sees them – their strengths, their goals, their challenges. I listen to my students intently and bend my curriculum to their needs, helping those who need it, pushing others, celebrating all of them.”

“Jeremy is the math teacher people want their children to have,” said Lisa Beeson, a fellow math teacher at Spring Mills Middle School. “She has high expectations, but also has a built-in style of teaching that helps to elevate her students to those goals. Former students that have since moved on to high school still return to her for help when they struggle. Not only does she strive to get the best out of her students, Jeremy also continuously evaluates her own lessons and performance.”

Knight earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, a Bachelor of Science degree in English education from West Virginia State University in Institute and a Master of Science degree in secondary education with an emphasis on mathematics from the Marshall University Graduate College in Charleston. She also is a National Board Certified teacher. Knight is a Gulf War veteran who served in the United States Army from 1988 to 1992. She participates in a number of political, civic and church activities, including serving as a county poll worker and volunteering for initiatives that support and care for veterans.

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.