HONORING A HALF CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO THE YOUTH OF FLORIDA
The Kiwanis Club of Lake Weir is proud to announce the creation of the Leo Armstrong Kiwanis Scholarship Fund. As a lifelong educator and former principal of Lake Weir High School, Leo has been a friend and mentor to hundreds of people in Marion County. This scholarship fund is being developed to help students at Lake Weir High School continue their education at an accredited school of higher learning.
The Leo Armstrong Kiwanis Scholarship Fund offers Leo's friends and former students an opportunity to honor him in the way he would most appreciate--by helping further the education of a Lake Weir High School graduate. Please consider making a generous donation in his name today!
WHO IS LEO ARMSTRONG? Born on a Minnesota wheat farm in 1908, Leo Armstrong was only 4 months old when his family moved to Florida. He grew up in Bradenton and dreamed of becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. However, the military was not recruiting when Leo graduated from high school, so he applied for a college scholarship instead. Needless to say, he won the scholarship and his fate as an educator was sealed. Leo attended the University of Florida and received his teaching certificate in 1933. He taught in Pensacola, Bradenton, and Bunnell before moving to Marion County to teach biology and math at Fellowship School. By taking summer classes Leo earned a Masters degree in school administration from Duke University, and in 1942 he became the principal of Weirsdale High School. In 1955 he was selected as the first principal of the new Lake Weir High School, a position he held for the next 11 years.
A devoted family man, Leo was married to his late, beloved wife Nell for 57 years. Together they raised three children, Toliver, Martha, and Russell. Leo attends Weirsdale Presbyterian Church, and he is a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Weir. In 1985-86 he was honored by the Florida District of Kiwanis as their Kiwanian of the Year. A man of many talents, Leo enjoys gardening, bird watching, and playing the piano. Leo is widely regarded as the best high school principal a student could have. He was a creative disciplinarian and a good friend to those who were fortunate enough to attend his school. Leo always had time for his students, and their welfare was his greatest concern. Former students affectionately remember Leo as the man with a cigar box full of lunch money, a ring with more keys than the janitor's, and a book entitled "One Hundred and One Best Poems." They also remember him as the one who blew up the chemistry lab! But most of all, Leo's students remember him as a man whose heart was big enough for everyone!
PRAISE FROM LEO'S STUDENTS & COLLEAGUES
Photo: Leo & Nell Armstrong at the Class of '62 reunion, 1995.
"Leo Armstrong was a giant! All of the children that have turned out so well are a monument to him." George Albright, Jr., Weirsdale High School, Class of 1949
"When I was 16, Leo trusted me more with his car than my own father did!" Bud Boyer, Lake Weir High School, Class of 1958
"Because of Mr. Armstrong, I received a scholarship from the Kiwanis Club of Lake Weir to attend Charity Hospital School of Nursing in New Orleans. The foundation he provided as a principal and a Kiwanian later helped me earn four degrees and led to a long and successful career in nursing management and healthcare administration. " Alice J. Privett, Lake Weir High School, Class of 1963
"I though I had retired from teaching when my husband and I and our two small children moved to Marion County in the summer of 1964. That was before I met Mr. Armstrong. Because of his influence, I have spent the past 35 years in education!" Linda Rou, Supervisor, Career and Applied Technology, Marion County Public Schools
To donate to the Leo Armstrong Kiwanis Scholarship Fund, contact:
Jerry L. Nations,
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS