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Arch Coal Honors 12 West Virginia Classroom Teachers

CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arch Coal Foundation named 12 outstanding West Virginia classroom teachers today as recipients of the prestigious Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. It is West Virginia's longest-running, privately sponsored teacher recognition program, now in its 27th year.

Arch Coal, Inc. logo.

The announcement was made by John W. Eaves, Arch Coal's president and chief executive officer. He was accompanied by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee. The recipients were honored today at a ceremony at the Clay Center in Charleston.

The 2015 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award recipients are:

Debbie Ebert DeWees

McKinley Elementary School


Tracy Lynn Duncan

Taylor County Middle School


Cindy Evarts

Orchard View Intermediate School


Rhonda L. Foreman

Martinsburg High School


Kelli Jordan

Ona Elementary School


Demi A. Lewin

Rosemont Elementary School


Lauren McCoy

Madison Elementary School


Samantha S. Murphy

Nicholas County High School


Jessica Salfia

Spring Mills High School


Ashley N. Shaw

Montcalm Elementary School


Beverly Stern

Ruthlawn Elementary School

South Charleston

Carolyn Ruos Thomas

Wildwood Middle School

Shenandoah Junction

"Teaching is not a career for the faint of heart," Eaves said. "The hours are long and the demands are numerous. Teachers have the great responsibility to shape young minds, impart knowledge and recognize each student's potential. They also must challenge themselves to learn new concepts and adjust their teaching approach to meet the needs of their students. They serve as disciplinarian and cheerleader, counselor and friend, and they work tirelessly to ensure that every child gets the high-quality education they deserve. So on behalf of the 1,800 employees working at Arch Coal and our subsidiaries in West Virginia, we are pleased to recognize these 12 outstanding teachers for their excellence in the classroom."

"As a former teacher, a father and husband of a college president, I understand the importance of a good education," Gov. Tomblin said. "As governor, I recognize providing a world-class education is essential to West Virginia's continued growth and economic success. The teachers we honor today gather in schools and classrooms across the state with a shared vision to inspire our students and encourage a lifetime of learning. I'm grateful for their commitment to our students and appreciate the ongoing support of Arch Coal to enhance educational opportunities in the Mountain State."

"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," Lee said. "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 public nominates teachers for the annual award, and a blue-ribbon panel of past award recipients selects the top 12. In addition to recognition, each teacher is presented with a $3,500 unrestricted cash award, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque.

The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of WVEA, also makes a $1,000 cash award to each teacher's school for use with at-risk students. The WVEA Foundation is funded by WVEA members. It was created in 1993 and to date has awarded nearly $250,000 to schools to assist in the education of at-risk students.

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, as well as a number of other education-related causes.

Information about each of today's 12 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. In West Virginia, Arch Coal and its subsidiaries employ about 1,800 people. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Arch Coal Foundation

For further information: Logan Bonacorsi (314) 994-2766, Russ Lorince (304) 594-4214