St. Clair High School teacher Ben Martin was named a Peabody Energy Leader in Education for the 2013-14 school year and was awarded $1,000 for his dedication and commitment to students. Martin was “surprised” with his honor at SCHS on Tuesday.

“Ben’s passion for kids is incredible,” said his principal, Mike Hunter. “He spends countless hours working for kids, but more importantly he spends countless hours dreaming for them. He constantly motivates students to become better people not just for the world but for themselves. He treats all kids by the golden rule, and every last one knows he cares. Ben’s lessons go beyond the classroom, and that is what teaching is all about.”

As a SCHS science teacher, its head cross-country coach and science fair coach and director, Peabody Energy said Martin believes in the impact education can have on children and their futures, and is committed to instilling in his students that they can do great things despite where they came from.

He started the St. Clair R-XIII School District science fair and conducts an annual science day in which organizations and universities visit St. Clair and perform science demonstrations. Many of his students also show off their talents that day through experiments and exhibits.

As a cross-country coach, Martin implemented “Running Across America With Coach Martin,” a summer trip program that allows students to see firsthand the endless possibilities the world offers. He implemented League of Leaders, which helps students develop leadership skills needed at school and in the community.

The Peabody Energy Leaders in Education program rewards dedicated education professionals—from teachers and coaches to librarians and counselors—who inspire and motivate youth to succeed. Award recipients are selected throughout the school year by a committee of top educators and business leaders.

“Educators like Ben Martin are the heroes who help students find their true potential to succeed,” said Greg Boyce, chairman and chief executive officer of Peabody Energy. “We are pleased to honor Mr. Martin as a Peabody Energy Leader in Education, and we thank him for working diligently to transform the lives of his students.”

The leaders program was developed in Missouri in 2009 and reflects Peabody’s commitment to make a positive impact in the communities where the company’s employees live and work by honoring those who inspire students.

The 2013-14 award program is continuing to accept nominations and is open to educational professionals of public, private and independent schools in designated communities where Peabody Energy employees live and work. Nominations may be made at

Honorees are selected from a diverse group of educators. They can range from veteran teachers to individuals in support staff roles such as administrators, coaches or counselors. Each 2013-14 leader in education will be honored during an awards gala after the school year, where one will be named educator of the year and awarded $5,000.

Other Teacher Award

A second St. Clair R-XIII educator has been recognized for her efforts as well.

Junior high school special education teacher Jammie Hogan was presented with a Pathfinder Award in connection with March  being Developmental Disabilities Month. The award was established through Developmental Services of Franklin County and recognizes outstanding professionals in the field.

“We know there are numerous unsung heroes who go above and beyond every day in special education,” information about the award states.

Hogan received the honor during a disability awareness fair Thursday night in Union. Presiding Franklin County Commissioner John Griesheimer gave her the award.

Information from Developmental Services of Franklin County states the award’s name was chosen because most families who have children with a developmental disability often have a more challenging and complicated “path” to follow, and it is difficult to navigate at times.