ST. LOUIS, Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arch Coal Foundation has officially kicked off its signature education support program – the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards – for the upcoming school year in West Virginia and Wyoming. The announcement was made by Deck S. Slone, senior vice president of Arch Coal, Inc. and president of the Arch Coal Foundation. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120727/CG47668LOGO) "We're big supporters of classroom teaching excellence," Slone said. "Superior teachers are able to challenge their students to learn and then show them how to succeed. Not only are such teachers examples for their colleagues and other education leaders, but they are also champions for better education in their communities." The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards Program is the longest-running, privately sponsored teacher-recognition program in both West Virginia and Wyoming. Award recipients each receive a $3,500 personal cash award as well as widespread recognition. Program nominations will close Jan. 6, 2014. "The Arch Coal Foundation has recognized hundreds of outstanding teachers over the years," Slone said. "One key to the success of this unique program is that the public nominates these special teachers, and then a blue-ribbon panel of past recipients judges the applications." In addition to the teacher awards program, the Arch Coal Foundation previously announced plans to underwrite its seventh year of teacher grants in Delta County, Colo. More information about all of the foundation's education support programs is posted online at www.archteacherawards.com. U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is one of the world's top coal producers for the global steel and power generation industries, serving customers on five continents. Its network of mining complexes is the most diversified in the United States, spanning every major coal basin in the nation. The company controls more than 5 billion tons of high-quality metallurgical and thermal coal reserves, with access to all major railroads, inland waterways and a growing number of seaborne trade channels. For more information, visit www.archcoal.com. SOURCE Arch Coal, Inc.