Newcastle’s Pzinski Named Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award Winner

Cheyenne (April 25, 2003) — As early as junior high school, Judith Pzinski wanted to find a way to help others grasp skills and information. “I often practiced on my siblings,” she recalls. “I believed I could find a way to reach others and design and create innovative ways to teach concepts.

“I am very fortunate in that I can truly say, ‘I love what I do and look forward to coming to work every day!’” Pzinski adds. “My love of teaching and of my students comes through in my learning environment and in everything I do.”

Pzinski’s passion certainly deserves recognition. Today she is one of only 10 Wyoming teachers to receive a 2003 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. Steven F. Leer, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement, accompanied by Governor Dave Freudenthal, Deputy Superintendent of Education Mary Kay Hill, and Kathryn Valido, a member of the executive committee of the Wyoming Education Association, during a ceremony at Cheyenne East High School.

“In this third year of our teacher recognition program in Wyoming, we continue to see teacher excellence across the state,” says Leer. “We believe outstanding teachers are the cornerstone of a good education. These recipients bring the magic of learning into their classrooms every day, and they have experience, expertise and a passion for learning themselves.”

Pzinski teaches special needs math, reading and English courses at Newcastle Middle School, Newcastle, Wyo. “Realizing the need for my students to experience success and possess confidence, I work diligently to build and increase self-esteem,” she notes.

“By devising unique and innovative ways to present curricula and learning opportunities, my students are more fully engaged in the learning process and better prepared to meet state standards.”

Pzinski earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D. She also has earned 30+ hours of continuing education classes and training, as well as National Board Certification in the Exceptional Needs field. Pzinski has mentored five area teachers in obtaining certification and has presented both locally and nationally. She recently was asked to join the Professional Teaching Standards Board in Cheyenne. Pzinski further serves her community through involvement in a variety of civic, athletic and other education-related organizations.

In addition to recognition, award recipients receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash prize, a distinctive glass trophy and a framed certificate. The Arch Coal teacher recognition program features public nomination and peer selection. Arch Coal is supported by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, Taco John’s and MiniMart in program promotion.

Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer and employs 600 people in Wyoming. Arch produces more than 65 million tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal annually at its Wyoming operations. The company’s Black Thunder operation in Campbell County is one of the nation’s largest and most efficient coal mines. Arch Coal is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.