Sundance teacher named “Leader in Education”

(Sarah Pridgeon photo) Surrounded by Peabody Energy staff members, Lisa Dutton shows off some off some of the spoils of being named a Peabody Leader in Education.

By Sarah Pridgeon

Lisa Dutton, teacher at Sundance High School, was this week surprised with a Peabody Leaders in Education Award and check for $1000 in recognition of her commitment to students. The award was presented in the school auditorium on Tuesday, with Dutton’s students in attendance to cheer her on.

Dutton was named a Leader in Education for her energetic approach to instruction and willingness to create new activities that make learning fun and exciting for her students. She teaches English, health, driver’s education and physical education and is described as a great listener who modifies her curriculum based on her students’ interests.

“Lisa Dutton is a true leader in education who gets her students active,” commented Viv Svec, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Peabody Energy.

“Peabody created the Leaders in Education program to give outstanding educators like Lisa the recognition they deserve.”

Dutton was nominated for the award by Mark Broderson, Principal of Sundance High School, for her enthusiasm to try new things and move away from her comfort zone for the benefit of her students.

“She always puts forth the extra effort that makes her an outstanding teacher. Since I have been her principal, she has added numerous new activities to her classes,” said Broderson.

“At this time we now have archery, mountain biking, snow-shoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, volksmarches, canoeing, fly-fishing and this year she is also adding shooting and hunter safety certification. These activities get students involved and teach lifelong activities.”

Dutton is the first educator from Sundance to be nominated for the Leader in Education award and also the first P.E. teacher to receive the honor. Her teaching is said to be so innovative and interesting that the P.E. program has been expanded to accommodate all the extra kids wanting to take it.

The Leaders in Education program was created by Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, to reward dedicated and compassionate educational professionals. Recipients are selected throughout the school year by a committee of top educators and business leaders.

Dutton will now be entered into the end-of-year overall award race, for which a selection will be made from those honored over the year. A Facebook poll will be available over the summer to allow members of the community to assist in making the final selection and the winner will receive $5000 at a celebratory dinner in September.

Leaders in Education was developed in Missouri in 2009 and reflects Peabody’s commitment to making a positive impact in the communities where its employees live and work, by honoring those who inspire students. Honorees are selected from a diverse group of educators, ranging from veteran teachers to support staff roles, such as administrators, coaches and counselors.

For more information about the award, visit