News & Media

Arch Coal Honors 10 West Virginia Classroom Teachers

March 28, 2016 at 11:40 AM EDT

ST. LOUIS, March 28, 2016 – The Arch Coal Foundation recently named 10 exceptional West Virginia classroom teachers 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 28th year.

The announcement was made by John W. Eaves, Arch Coal's chairman and chief executive officer. Each award recipient was honored at a special assembly held in front of students and faculty at his or her individual school.

The 2016 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award recipients are:

Erica L. Alexander Triadelphia Middle School Wheeling
Irma R. Barazzone University High School Morgantown
Carl Brainard Parkersburg South High School Parkersburg
Deidra A. Casto Union Elementary School Buckhannon
Aleta Jo Crotty Mercer Elementary School Princeton
Melissa Elliott Martinsburg High School Martinsburg
Ron Hudson Pendleton County High School Franklin
Joy Marie Hunt Burch Elementary School Delbarton
Jeremy Anne Knight Spring Mills Middle School Martinsburg
Samantha Slone Spring Mills Middle School Martinsburg

"We are honored to recognize these outstanding West Virginia teachers with an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award," Eaves said. "Their dedication to the teaching profession and to ensuring the success of their students will serve the citizens of the state well, both now and in the future. These 10 individuals are representative of the many West Virginia classroom educators who are constantly striving to employ new teaching methods, technologies and curriculum. We congratulate them all on their commitment to improving the lives of those in the state."

The public nominates teachers for the annual award, and a blue-ribbon panel of past award recipients selects the top 10. In addition to recognition, each teacher is presented with a cash award, a distinctive trophy and a classroom plaque.

The West Virginia Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a foundation of the West Virginia Education Association (WVEA), also makes a $1,000 cash award to each teacher'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 each of this year's 10 recipients, as well as past recipients, is posted at

U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. is one of the world's top coal producers for the global steel and power generation industries. 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. In West Virginia, Arch Coal and its subsidiaries employ more than 1,450 people. For more information, visit