Community remembers Laurrissa Armstrong
A sea of 174 red and white balloons filled the air with a shout of “Here’s to you, Mrs. Armstrong” in the courtyard of Welborn Academy of Science and Technology Tuesday night.
More than 100 students, staff and community members followed the luminaries on Wildcat Way to attend a program dedicated to an evening of remembrance to honor the life and memory of slain teacher Laurrissa Armstrong.
Armstrong was shot and killed by her estranged husband on Aug. 29, just three days after the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
Guilford County Board of Education member Carlvena Foster encouraged students not to settle for mediocrity, to honor Armstrong by working together and staying dedicated.
“Mrs. Armstrong is here in spirit and in love. Her presence in this school and community is real,” Foster said. “When you look around at the lives she touched with her love and kindness, the lives she changed through her teaching and the difference she made as leader in this school as a mother figure, a friend and a colleague, the impact is immeasurable.”
The program included performances by the school’s chorus and band. Seventh-grader Donathan Streeter said that Armstrong was the best teacher in the whole school.
“I love how she was. She was the best teacher and had the best character,” Streeter said.
Students from T. Wingate Andrews High School came back to remember the teacher that they lost.
“I came to support the home-going of Mrs. Armstrong. She was a really good teacher. She is gone now but she has left a lot of lessons with us,” said Kumisha Washington, a 10th grader at Andrews. “She taught me how to sew. I made a bag and some pajama pants in her class. I loved her so much and I just wish I could have told her goodbye.”
Kyia Cole is now a 10th grader at Andrews and said that the event gave her a chance to say goodbye.
“I learned a lot in her class. She is the best teacher I had and I love her,” Cole said.
Armstrong’s colleagues also have fond memories of her.
“I think that tonight was an opportunity for us to come together as a school and a community to take that moment and celebrate Mrs. Armstrong,” said Assistant Principal Paul Wirth. “It is a chance to celebrate her life and what she meant to us. It gives us a moment to reflect on the time and memories we had with her.”
Coach Eric Jefferies worked closely with Armstrong for over 12 years and said that he missed talking with her. He said she was always positive about the kids.
“We used to talk during lunch. She was a real nice person. She always talked about her boys and she would just get excited,” Jefferies said. “She sacrificed so much and would take time out of what she wanted to do enable to do things for others. That was the type of person she was. She would do anything for you.”
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