Since 1999, Arch Coal has been celebrating victories in the classroom, and on Thursday, the company honored 12 West Virginia teachers with its 2013 Teacher Achievement Awards at the state Culture Center.

The award honors outstanding educators across the state who made a difference in their students’ lives.

Deidra Mahon, an English teacher at Chapmanville Middle School in Logan County, was one of the recipients. “I wanted to see my kids succeed. I wanted to see them do well,” she said.

Along with teaching the classics, Mahon said she incorporated new young-adult literature into her lesson plans. “The Hunger Games” is a favorite with both boys and girls, she said.

“It’s nice to see a kid that’s never made a connection with education, all of the sudden, something I did clicked [with them].”

Another recipient, Tug Valley High School math teacher Amy Salmons, said she hopes to inspire students, just like her teachers did.

“I had great math teachers when I was going through high school and college. I just wanted to continue in that path,” said Salmons.

Aiming to keep things interesting by using more than just a chalkboard, Salmons said her students recently used some unconventional tools to decipher a math problem.

“We tested beam strengths like engineers would for bridges. I used spaghetti noodles and pennies to replicate that.”

All 12 recipients received a $3,500 cash prize and a trophy. They were nominated by fellow teachers, students and members of the community.

Mahon and Salmons were both guests Thursday on MetroNews Talkline.

The other winners were:

• Michele Adams from Spring Mills Middle School in Martinsburg

• Megan Bacorn from Union Elementary School in Buckhannon

• Cynthia Burke from Sherrard Middle School in Wheeling

• Kimberly Cook from Summersville Elementary School in Summersville

• James Dennis from Parkersburg South High School in Parkersburg

• Virginia Hicks from Buckhannon Academy Elementary School in Buckhannon

• Deidra Mahon from Chapmanville Middle School in Chapmanville

• Amanda Sammons Meadows from Bradley Elementary School in Mt. Hope

• Amy Salmons from Tug Valley High School in Williamson

• Brooke Scott from Union Elementary School in Buckhannon

• Erin Sponaugle from Tomahawk Intermediate School in Hedgesville

• Jayne Whitlow from Parkersburg South High School in Parkersburg


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  • Robert

    By the way...I am the real Robert!!!!

  • Robert

    This story has to be incorrect...according to most people who post on this web-site there isn't 12 good teachers in the great State of West Virginia. Congratulations just the same...:)

  • Woody

    Congratualtions to the Upshur County school board employee in charge of polishing up award applications.

  • ron

    Thanks Jennifer!

  • Michael

    Agree with Ron...Who were the other 10 recipients???


    Across the state? How about given to teachers in the south western part of the state......

  • ron

    Who were the other 10?