ST. LOUIS, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arch Coal Foundation has kicked off its longstanding annual teacher-recognition programs in Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to foundation president Deck S. Slone, who also is a senior vice president of Arch Coal, Inc. "Arch Coal appreciates classroom teaching excellence and recognizes the importance of teachers in our children's daily lives," Slone said. "The teachers recognized by our award programs strengthen our communities by bringing higher levels of learning to their classrooms. We are especially pleased that these programs are making a positive difference in many of the areas where we live and work." The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards program is celebrating its 25 th anniversary in West Virginia and is the longest-running privately sponsored teacher-recognition program in West Virginia and Wyoming. The program also recognizes teachers in a four-county area near Arch Coal's three mines in Utah. The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards program is unique in two ways: It asks the public to nominate outstanding teachers, and it has panels of past award recipients serve as judges. "Our program ensures public participation, as well as a blue-ribbon review of applicants," Slone said. Annually, 27 award recipients each receive a $3,500 personal cash award as well as widespread recognition. The Arch Coal Foundation also underwrites a unique teacher grants program in Delta County, Colo. Details about the foundation's signature teacher awards and grant programs are posted online at www.archcoal.com. U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) is a top five global coal producer and marketer, with active mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin. Its core business is supplying cleaner-burning, low-sulfur thermal and metallurgical coal to power generators and steel manufacturers on five continents. In 2011, Arch continued to lead the U.S. coal industry in safety performance and environmental compliance among large, diversified producers.