Education

Pendleton County High School’s Ron Hudson
Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Franklin, W.Va., March 24, 2016 – Teaching wasn’t the obvious career choice for Ron Hudson. However, one inspired look led him to realize his ultimate passion. “I was encouraged by one of my teachers to attend college,” he said. “I attended college and graduated with a degree in agricultural education. I wasn’t sure I wanted to teach, but I thought it would be a good experience for at least a few years.

“Then when I least expected it, it happened,” he continued. “I saw a student get that look in his eye and you knew he just got it. It’s hard to explain exactly what that look is, but when you see it, you never forget it. I have been blessed to witness this look by many students.”

As a result of Hudson’s ability to teach real world experiences, he received statewide recognition today at a student assembly held at Pendleton County High School. He 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 Ron Hudson with an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award,” said John W. Eaves, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer. “His dedication to the teaching profession and to ensuring the success of his students will serve the citizens of the state well, both now and in the future. Ron 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.”

Hudson teaches agriculture courses at Pendleton County High School in Franklin, W.Va. He has 22 years of teaching experience. “Education comes in many forms,” he said. “As a classroom teacher this could take place in front of the class at a black board or even a smart board, but for me it happens anywhere and anytime. All kids can learn at any time, even if they are not thinking about it. I am also able to teach them about living in the world and surviving. This is why I went into agricultural education.”

“I recently read a quote from a retired agriculture teacher who said, ‘I teach about life first, and then with time left, I teach about agriculture.’ This greatly describes Mr. Hudson’s strongest teaching attribute, which I believe is his ability to see each individual as a person first and a student second,” said Danielle Grant, agricultural science teacher at Buffalo High School. “He understands each child comes from a different background, has different intellectual ability and will respond to different learning styles. He takes the time to get to know every student personally and then works to diversify the curriculum to appeal to their learning style.”

Hudson earned an Associate Degree in general agriculture and animal science from the State University of New York at Alfred, and a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown. Hudson is the West Virginia Future Farmers of America (FFA) Eastern Region teacher president and he attends the national FFA conference each year. He also is one of three Accredited Parliamentarians of Agriculture Teachers in the state of West Virginia. In addition to overseeing a number of school FFA volunteer projects, he is a member of Faith Lutheran Church and the Franklin Ruritan Club.

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.