School spirit & history
Year opened: Fall of 2002
Named after a great leader
Our school is named after John William Armstrong. We are the only Garland ISD school to be named after a former student.
Born in 1926, John William Armstrong was a native of Garland, Texas. He entered first grade at Garland Elementary School and graduated from Garland High School as valedictorian of the class of 1944.
Known to his friends as Bill, he was a social, academic and sports leader at GHS. He served as class president for three years, edited the Owl's Nest yearbook, won the school leadership award, and was elected most popular boy. Bill participated in every team sport offered at the school, and lettered in them all. Most notably, he co-captained the undefeated 1943 regional championship football team.
Earning a scholarship to SMU, Bill attended that university for a year, where he played football and made the Phi Eta Sigma scholarship fraternity. During that year, he earned an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy.
He entered West Point in summer of 1945 as a member of the class of 1949. Bill continued his stellar academic career as a cadet at West Point, earning "Dean's List" status for four years, serving as Cadet Captain, participating in intramural and varsity sports, and graduating 16th in a class of 574. He was the first Garland native to enter and graduate from the prestigious academy.
After graduation, Bill embarked on a career as Air Force fighter pilot. At the start of the Korean War, his unit was assigned to the combat area. While a standard "tour of duty" for a fighter pilot was 100 missions, Bill voluntarily flew 127 before returning to the U.S. He was awarded Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following flying assignments in the United States, he served on the faculty at West Point for four years in the Military Psychology and Leadership Department.
Bill's last military assignment was to DaNang Air Base in Vietnam as Commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On the night of November 9, 1967, while on a bombing mission over Laos, his aircraft was destroyed. His body was never recovered. We can only imagine what life would have brought this gifted, idealistic and hardworking person, had he survived and returned home. While his body may not have returned home to Texas, his spirit certainly lives on - in the hearts of his family, his friends, and certainly in the students, parents and faculty who will pass through the halls of Armstrong Elementary.
John. W. Armstrong Elementary School. What a fitting tribute to a fallen hero - a man who loved life, loved his country, and loved learning!
At John Armstrong
We cherish lessons we have learned
In scholarship in character and pride
Throughout the years wherever we may wander
We'll carry Armstrong's messages inside.
Work hard, play fair; Respect yourself and others.
Find joy and honor in the Golden Rule
While staying true to all that we believe in.
Join hands and hearts and hopes
To make this special school.
As a citizen of Armstrong Elementary, I promise to:
A Have a good Attitude
R Be Responsible
M Use good Manners
S Be Supportive
T Be Trustworthy
R Be Respectful
O Be Optimistic
N Be Nurturing
G Be Generous
and to always have the courage to do the right thing.
+This event is held the Saturday morning before Veterans Day. Each year, students put on special grade-level performances and introduce some of our nation's veterans.
Navy Blue and Gray