League City Intermediate teacher shaves head because of high STAAR scores


Anna Martinez

Armstrong assists students in their work over the Thirteen Colonies.

Anna Martinez, Reporter

Dan Armstrong, an eighth grade Pre-AP/Omega social studies teacher at League City Intermediate, made his students a strange promise. If they all got a 90% passing rate on their STAAR test, he would shave his head, bald.

Armstrong is known for being a fun teacher who makes learning American history interesting and exciting. Even if someone was not a student in his class, he makes them feel welcomed in his room. He always makes jokes and tries to make his students laugh. Often making jokes about himself or experiences he had gone through. He tries to lift his students’ spirits and make their day better, even if it is just by a little.

“Mr. Armstrong is super chill and funny! He is a big goofball and laughs at his own jokes” Amara Elmer, Armstrong’s former student and freshman at Creek, said.

He makes it a point to learn who his students are as learners, and as people. Many kids who take his class leave feeling like one of his friends.

Armstrong’s teaching style is unique, he shows videos that relate to the topic and yells out important things to remember from his PowerPoint presentations. He has students take daily notes about what they learned that day and what they went over in class. He has them fill out Document Based Questions (DBQs) and allows them to turn in anything for a 100 as long as it is from the current nine weeks. He is always there for his students, whether it is personal issues, or academic issues.

Armstrong is also always there for his football team. He coaches LCI’s eighth grade, B football team, along with Beau Hernandez, a fellow Pre-AP/Omega WAVE social studies teacher.

“Mr. Armstrong never made it about grades. He wanted to make sure we were learning” Nataly Estrada, Armstrong’s former student, said.

He began preparing his students for STAAR testing at the beginning of the school year. He explained everything thoroughly and made sure the students were learning the required material. As he was teaching lessons, he would tell his students what would, and what would not be on the test. This helped a lot of students when it came to exams, but for some, it only stressed them out even more. As tests began creeping closer, tension between students and their material had started growing. Many students started showing up for tutorials before school, and studying more and more to make sure they knew the answers. After the practice STAAR they began to get even more nervous. Some took advantage of the STAAR prep classes, and some decided to study at their own pace.

And soon the actual STAAR test had arrived. Everyone held their breath, teachers and students, as they opened the page ad began reading questions and bubbling in answers.

“It was a little confusing. I felt like I wasted so much time on things that I didn’t need to know on the actual test, instead of the things I did” Kylee Freeman, Armstrong’s former student and freshman at Creek, said.

After the tests were over and the results were in, Armstrong was excited! They achieved their goal and even went above it! On top of that, LCI’s Pre-AP/Omega program had scored six percent more than all of the other intermediate schools in CCISD. Later that year, Hernandez shaved Armstrong’s head while standing on the stage in the school’s commons. The glorious moment was filmed and can be found on the League City Intermediate Facebook page, and Hernandez’ Facebook page as well.

Many of his now previous students were posting the video and the link on their social medias as well, sharing it with parents and friends who attend other schools.

“It was kind of funny, but there was little to no difference in his total appearance. The dude was already pretty bald,” Kairee Alvero, Armstrong’s former student and freshman at Creek, said.

Proud of his students, Armstrong continues laughing and teaching as before, but now with an even happier smile and a, balder head. Who knows what crazy promise he will make his new students this year?