Soror Yolanda Armstrong, principal of G.W. Pepper Middle School in Philadelphia, has received the prestigious Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Principal Leadership.
The award, which comes with a $10,000 prize, recognizes and rewards principals who have made significant leadership and humanitarian contributions to students, staff, and the community. Seven principals in the 200,000-student district – the nation’s eighth-largest district -- were recognized. Soror Armstrong was the only middle-school principal so honored.
Soror Armstrong, a native Philadelphian, was educated in its public schools, graduating from John Bartram High. She is an active member of Theta Pi Omega Chapter in Moorestown, N.J. A Silver Star and Life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Soror Armstrong was initiated into Gamma Theta Chapter at Hampton Institute in 1973. She is married and the mother of a son and two daughters.
She started her career in the classroom as a health teacher and science teacher before becoming assistant principal at Carnell Elementary School in Philadelphia.
As principal at Pepper Middle School since 2005, Soror Armstrong has spearheaded a “body, mind and spirit” approach to learning. The school staff and students tend flower and vegetable gardens with the assistance of the community’s Southwest Senior Farmers. Her school also hosts a Parent’s Academy on Saturdays “to assist parents in being able to further help their children scholastically by being familiarized and acclimated with the educational programs that they use,” she said.
She intends to designate her award stipend for the creation of a choir program at the school and to purchase handheld wireless clickers that “enable students to register responses and individual opinions. … [A teacher’s] questions are presented via Promethean Boards for interactive learning in the classroom where the student responses are reported and compiled by specialized software programs on the teacher’s computer. This streamlines the learning process in the classroom, while simultaneously exposing the students to inventive new technologies,” Soror Armstrong said.
The award was formally presented during ceremonies April 6 at The Prince Theater in Center City Philadelphia. This was the first year for the foundation to honor school principals. The foundation was established to recognize excellence in university teaching, and had expanded that mission to exemplary public-school teaching.