Winifred Armstrong, former Colonial student, comes back to school to say thank you


Charlie Pedorella

Winifred Armstrong, a former Colonial student, told students to thank teachers for what they learn in classrooms like this.

COLONIAL SCHOOL — Winifred Armstrong, a former Colonial School student, and her friend Billy Day came back to the school to say thanks. She talked about her career starting here and how her first-grade teacher sparked her life traveling around the world, especially to Africa.

The years of Colonial she most remembered were first grade and fifth grade. Her first grade teacher, Virginia Stanton, gave her and her class books about China, Africa, South America and Sri Lanka. These inspired her to be a social activist.

“I came back to say thank you, because the reading my teacher gave me sparked the curiosity that started my career,” said Armstrong.

Day said, “Thank your teachers. It is going to make a difference.”

Some of Armstrong’s accomplishments include winning the Clara Lemlich Social Activist Award and starting a neighborhood history society. Armstrong was also a advisor and speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy.

“There’s a great satisfaction and fun in contacting former colleagues, and it may nudge to action themselves,” said Armstrong.

“I helped round up material from my and others involvement with the Park West Village Tenants Association.” The group is still active, according to the article Looking Back to Look Forward.