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  2. Education

    Sunflower School’s Kintz Receives Arch Coal Achievement Award

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (April 13, 2012) – When faced with choosing her life’s vocation, Kathryn Kintz sought her mother’s advice, which was taken from the ‘Rules of the Red Rubber Ball.’ When you cannot tell the difference between work and play, then you have chosen correctly,” Kintz recalls.

    “I have been playing teacher for a number of years now, and I am still amazed at how much I enjoy working with children and having the privilege of being their guide during the learning process,” she adds. “Their passion for learning motivates me to continuing ‘playing school’ and to touch lives through this teaching profession.”

    Today Kintz further proved that teaching was indeed her calling. She was one of only 10 teachers statewide to receive a 2012 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a ceremony at South High School in Cheyenne. Leer was accompanied by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, Senator Mike Enzi, Representative Cynthia M. Lummis, and Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill. This is the 12th year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been made in Wyoming.

    “One reason Kathryn Kintz enjoys teaching is the challenge of creating higher-level thinking activities that give her students academic success and the confidence to not only walk into the classroom each day, but also to become successful individuals in our diverse society,” says Leer.

    With 25 years of experience, Kintz teaches third-grade students at the Sunflower School in Gillette. “The classroom is a safe learning environment, where students feel comfortable to ask questions and make mistakes, a risk-free atmosphere enabling them to learn and gain confidence,” she notes.

    One creative lesson plan Kintz uses to generate critical thinking involves a living history classroom of the 1890s. Students dress in clothes and pack lunches based on the era and participate in such hands-on activities as making candles, quilting, washing clothes on a washboard, making applesauce, carving soap and building a buffalo chip fire. “I feel one of the most important aspects of teaching is that students not only learn, but also enjoy school,” Kintz adds.

    Kintz earned a bachelor’s degree at Montana State University, Billings, and she has earned graduate credits at the University of Wyoming. She furthers her education through workshops, action labs and college courses, including opportunities to develop technology skills. Kintz then integrates into her classroom curriculum and instruction. Kintz’s goal is to continue applying reading strategies and integrating storytelling for an instructional unit in reading. She has shared this method with colleagues at the district and state levels. Kintz developed and piloted a program for gifted and talented students in the Campbell County School District. In addition to the 1890s schoolhouse unit, she developed a Civil War Day Program for the district’s sixth-graders. Kintz further serves her community through volunteer activities involving church, civic and community-betterment organizations.

    Each Teacher Achievement Award recipient receives a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a $3,500 personal, cash award. Nominations of the teachers are made by the public, and selection is made by a blue-ribbon panel of the teachers’ peers, all former recipients of the Arch Coal award.

    The Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming library community, Taco John’s and Loaf ‘N Jug stores are longstanding supporters of the program.

    The Arch Coal Foundation also is a supporter of teacher-recognition programs in West Virginia, Utah and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes.

    U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is a top five global coal producer and marketer and the most diversified American coal company, with mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin. In 2011, Arch continued to lead the U.S. coal industry in safety performance and environmental compliance among large, diversified producers. Arch’s Wyoming operations – Arch of Wyoming and Thunder Basin Coal Company’s Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines – have a combined workforce of more than 1,800.