Feature Teacher



Marlene Armstrong

At which Payson school do you teach?

I teach at Rim Country Middle School and Payson High School.

Why do you teach?

I teach because I have a passion for learning and sharing information.

Do you have a motto for life?

Determine never to be idle ... It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing — Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

What’s your family like?

I have a wonderful husband, Michael. We have been married for 20 years. We have four absolutely amazing children, Michael Jr., 18, Karessa, 16, Eve, 12, and Margaret, 10. They are my inspiration to be a better person.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Laziness. We only have a small amount of time on this Earth and there is no time to waste being lazy!

What’s your favorite holiday or leisure activity?

I love to read. I don’t sit still very often, but if I do I have a book in my hand. I read about four or five books a week.

Why did you choose Payson to teach?

Michael and I moved to Payson to provide a better life for our children. We wanted them to be able to grow up in a small community and attend school with children and teachers that we knew.

Who was your favorite teacher?

My favorite teacher was my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Brislan. She was the first teacher to really get me. She understood that I was a little different and embraced my differences and let me be myself in a sea of normalcy. We just recently reconnected on Facebook and I was thrilled to tell her how much of an impact she had in my life. If anyone has a teacher that inspired them to be better, this is the best gift you can give them.

What was your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject was reading. I always had my nose in a book. I loved the fact that I could always escape into another world, or learn something new without waiting for the class to learn it. I spent more time with Mr. Merrell in the library than anyone I know. He couldn’t keep up with getting me new books to discover. He would bring in his own personal favorite books and magazines for me to borrow.

Through these magazines and books, I could find out about a world very different from my hometown of Duncan, Arizona, (population: 500). In fourth grade, I read a book about a new invention called the computer. No one I knew had ever even seen one. I became hyper-focused about the computer. I talked my father into buying a kit and we built one in our living room. That began my love of technology.

What was your favorite year in school?

My favorite year would be my sophomore year. I changed schools, became more sure of myself, met my now husband and decided that I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way of reaching my goals.

I did a lot of growing up that year.


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