At age 17, Brian Armstrong has learned what it means to balance work, friends and school. The Evans High School junior holds a part-time job, is a member of the school's math team, Beta club, gamers club and National Honor Society, and enjoys going to the movies with his friends at least once a week.
"It's tough," Brian said of the balance. "With projects, I have to set aside days that I don't work."
The son of Daniel and Elissa Armstrong, of Evans, Brian puts in roughly 20 hours a week at his job at Firehouse Subs in Evans, is active on the math team and still finds time to do the things he enjoys.
"I wish to place on record the consistently brilliant academic performance of Brian Armstrong in his three years of study (at Evans High School)," said Becky Horner, a co-sponsor of the Knights' math team. "As per his performance records, he can be placed in the top three in a class of over 300 students and in my subject is placed at the top. He is intelligent, inquisitive and yearns to gain an in-depth knowledge."
Brian's love of math developed several years ago, when he was taking an algebra class under Evans Middle School teacher Clara McAlhany.
"I love math," Brian said. "I just love it. ... I like that you can solve problems and can choose different ways to solve them."
McAlhany said she's flattered that Brian's love of math developed during her class.
Evans High School junior Brian Armstrong says he loves math.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I am thrilled that I made such an impression on Brian," she said. "Brian was, and is, an exceptional student. Throughout his middle school years, Brian did everything that was expected, and much more, in all his classes. Although math came easy for Brian, he always pushed himself to understand why math worked the way it did."
At the beginning of sixth grade, McAlhany challenged her pupils to work hard, particularly at problem solving.
"Brian really seemed to catch my 'passion' for math," she said.
As a member of the Evans Middle math team, Brian participated in MATHCOUNTS, a national math enrichment, coaching and competition program aimed at middle school pupils.
"On the math team, Brian was a great leader and a great teacher," McAlhany said. "He was a role model for younger students, patiently helping them understand even the hardest problems."
Both McAlhany and Horner agree that whatever Brian chooses to do with his life, he's headed for greatness.
"I expect Brian to excel because of his work ethic as well as his intellectual ability," Horner said.
Brian plans to pursue a degree where he can put his love of math to work.
"Engineering is most likely what I'm going into," he said.
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