Abbeville Teacher is a Class Act

The astronauts and other aerospace professionals of tomorrow are in classrooms today; and Abbeville Middle School teacher Sandy Armstrong is getting them ready. "She has provided our students in Henry County as well as in the Wiregrass with opportunities to visit launches at Cape Canaveral as guests of NASA," says principal Ginger Webster.

One glance in her classroom shows she's gung-ho about aerospace; her students say she's the same way for every subject. "She really gets into everything she's doing. We make airplanes or spaceships to do space and we draw stuff about the dinosaurs and we make things," says 8th grader Areal Crozier. Classmate Brandon Riley adds, "She goes beyond the limit, she gets into detail and we do cool stuff in her class."

Armstrong has won numerous national awards and honors for aerospace education and helped set up Alabama Aerospace Week in schools across the state. Her fascination with space goes way back. "I got it when I was in 6th grade and saw Alan Shepard go into space and I wanted to be an aerospace engineer, and I didn't, I just ended up being a teacher and I realize now that was my calling," says Armstrong.

This year she was one of just 30 teachers nationwide selected to take part in the pilot program of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute's Teacher Academy in Texas. In 1999 she received the Christa McAuliffe Award for National Aerospace Teacher of the Year. In between she was selected Henry County's secondary teacher of the year.