Burch Elementary School’s Joy Marie Hunt
Receives Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Delbarton, W.Va., March 22, 2016 – Choosing teaching as a profession was an easy decision for Joy Marie Hunt. In fact, it was her calling. “Simply stated, I love to teach,” Hunt said. “My love for young children led me to choose elementary education. As a lifelong learner, I find opportunities to learn and share new ideas with others.

“The smiles and bright eyes of my students motivate me to continue finding resources, instructional methods and ways to expand their horizons,” she continued. “Each group has its own outlook and character, and I find ways to enhance those traits in my students as we journey into learning both content and standards.”

As a result of Hunt’s ability to lead her students on a journey of discovery, she received statewide recognition today at a student assembly held at Burch Elementary School. She 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 Joy Marie Hunt with an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award,” said John W. Eaves, Arch Coal chairman and chief executive officer. “Her dedication to the teaching profession and to ensuring the success of her students will serve the citizens of the state well, both now and in the future. Joy 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.”

Hunt teaches reading and technology to grades one through four at Burch Elementary School in Delbarton. She has 33 years of teaching experience. “Knowledge is a precious thing and to be an instructor of young children who are seeking to learn is powerful,” she said. “This is why I teach. Understanding this power can be used to influence my students, I seek to light an intense need for learning in them. Lesson content must be chosen carefully and intentionally as I decide how to use knowledge of my students and their learning styles to deliver content so they feel the power of knowledge and thirst for more.”

“Joy has played a vital role in the success of our school,” said C. Douglas Ward, principal at Burch Elementary. “She has successfully integrated instructional programs for students as well as assisted in setting up a literature review library for faculty at our school. One of her greatest integrations is in the area of technology. Joy has developed a SKYPE program that allows the students in Delbarton to conduct book studies with students in North America, including an elementary school in Canada.”

Hunt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Concord College in Athens, W.Va., and a Master of Arts degree in reading from Marshall University, Huntington. She also has received her National Board Certification in Literacy. Hunt is a facilitator with the West Virginia Department of Education’s West Virginia Learns professional development courses and is a member of the Microsoft Educators Network. Hunt is involved with a number of church and civic volunteer activities, including helping to organize the annual CEDAR Coal Fair and promoting healthy lifestyles by serving as an adult mentor for the NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

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