POTTSTOWN, Pa. -- Jennifer Armstrong of Owen J. Roberts Middle School has been named the NHL and NHL Players' Association Future Goals Most Valuable Teacher for February.
Armstrong, a Philadelphia Flyers fan who teaches technology and science classes for seventh and eighth graders, was one of 12 individuals nominated for the award in February. She won a vote at NHL.com/MVT after using the Future Goals Program to demonstrate how science affects hockey.
"I teach a STEAM class (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics), I teach a technology class, and I try to bring the STEM in with all of my seventh and eighth graders," Armstrong said. "It links math and science to what we do every day. The kids are learning and they're not even realizing it. Any time we can apply STEM concepts to real life, it's amazing. The kids have so much fun when we work on the projects.
"It's an amazing connection to things that go on in everyday life. They're learning STEM concepts and they're not realizing where it's being applied to out in the real world. For them to see this is where I can use math in the game of ice hockey, it puts the connections together and they love it."
Video: Armstrong named Most Valuable Teacher of February
Armstrong, who has taught at Owen J. Roberts for 11 years, was an early adopter of the Future Goals program and now works to promote it to other school districts.
"At the beginning of every school year, at the beginning of each hockey season, we invite principals, teachers, educators like Jen Armstrong, to the Wells Fargo Center and we have basically a tutorial to explain our Flyers hockey scholars program and how it can be beneficial to other school districts throughout our area," Flyers community relations director Jason Tempesta said. "Jen is the one that takes the lead and helps us from an organizational standpoint talk about a firsthand example of how she uses it in the classroom and how it can be beneficial to other teachers."
The Flyers surprised Armstrong on Wednesday morning, with a contingent led by Gritty banging on her classroom door. The mascot, along with Flyers alum Bob Kelly, brought donuts, coffee and hot chocolate for students and staff. Her husband and three children also were part of the surprise. Armstrong was presented with a personalized Flyers jersey and tickets to their game against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
"We talk about hockey in class every day," said Armstrong, who cited Flyers captain Claude Giroux as her favorite player. "My family is huge hockey fans. I talk about the Flyers like they're my brothers. It's amazing. Any time we can connect something to real life, it's wonderful."
Twelve teachers have been nominated for Most Valuable Teacher for March, with voting open throughout the month at NHL.com/MVT.
The March winner will join Armstrong and Megan Campedel, an eighth-grade science teacher at Avonworth Middle School in Pittsburgh who was voted Most Valuable Teacher for January, in a national vote for Most Valuable Teacher of the Year. Voting for that honor will begin at 12 a.m. ET on May 8, and the winner will be a special guest at the 2020 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
"Jen is a wonderful teacher, so any time we get the opportunity to recognize any of our teachers, it's a big moment," principal Corbin Stoltzfus said. "We're proud of her. She represents what many of our teachers represents, with her dedication and commitment to our students to give them the best education possible."