Armstrong named SMS Teacher of the Year

Irene Armstrong was named 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year at Sweetwater Middle School where she is a seventh grade Texas History and SEEK (gifted and talented) teacher. She has taught at Sweetwater ISD for the past 13 years, teaching for a total of 16 years.Armstrong attended Amarillo Junior College and West Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor's degree.She is involved in many organizations, including being a member of the Big Country Council of Social Studies, Texas Council for the Social Studies and TCTA. She is a committee member of the SMS Site-Based Committee and is a sponsor for the SMS National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). In addition, Armstrong is a coach for the Academic U.I.L. Social Studies team and is a member and officer of the Choir Booster Club.She has been a recipient of the "Teaching American History Grant" and participates in several local activities, including serving as a math tutor. Armstrong takes part in the fundraising and clean-up for the Texas Theatre Restoration and is also a fundraiser with the American Red Cross and NJHS at the Rattlesnake Round-Up.Her desire in becoming a teacher came from a love of kids after working and while attending college, along with a bit of family ties. "My mother, also being a teacher, was a wonderful role model and instilled in me the value of education throughout my life."Armstrong's inspiration from teaching has come from different sources. "I was lucky enough to have had several outstanding teachers during my education and to work with many as well."Yet, her great love for teaching is for several reasons. "I teach because I enjoy the daily interactions with the students. They make me smile and laugh on a daily basis! I am grateful for the opportunity to enlighten young minds, as children are the foundation for the future."When asked what makes an outstanding teacher, her answer proves to be outstanding as well: "blood, sweat, tears, laughs, smiles, heart and soul...personally, I care to make a difference."