About Us‎ > ‎District News‎ > ‎

Armour receives School Board Member Leadership Award

posted Nov 18, 2016, 6:34 AM by Cheryl Shuffler


The North Carolina School Board Association has recognized Burke County Board of Education Member Buddy Armour with the School Board Leadership Award. The announcement came Thursday night in Greensboro at the NCSBA’s annual conference. Armour was recognized for his commitment to Burke County Public Schools during his 20 years of service on the board of education.

Board Chair Randy Burns said, "To be selected as the NCSBA school board member of the year is a tremendous honor, and I can't imagine anyone being more deserving of this honor than Mr. Buddy Armour. I have witnessed firsthand his absolute passion and desire to ensure that every student in Burke County has an opportunity to excel. If you spend much time around Mr. Armour you will quickly see that he is one of the most genuine and compassionate people you will ever have a privilege know. His contributions to the Burke County Public Schools over the past 20 years have certainly been inspirational to me. I am proud to call him my colleague and friend. Well done, Buddy!"

“Mr. Armour has left indelible marks on the school district over the past two decades,” said Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam, “including the construction and opening of five new schools, ensuring students have access to the most up-to-date technology, ensuring the school cafeterias provide quality meals and personally mentoring students. Mr. Armour strives to see Burke County Public Schools students succeed.”

Armour’s career path has been in the furniture industry, which gives him a unique perspective on educating students for the local workforce. A Rotarian, Armour lives the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” He helped start STRIVE (Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of their Education) nine years ago, and the program continues strong today. Armour invests one-on-one time with high school seniors through STRIVE, presents them with life skills and encourages them not to get “senioritis.” 

Armour is a big proponent of language, arts and music in schools as a way to get students interested in subjects such as math and science. He also has a desire to equip students with the best in technology.

Knowing that school breakfasts and lunches are sometimes the only two meals some students eat, Armour also is a big proponent of healthy, but tasty school breakfasts and lunches. He was instrumental in bringing a food services management company in to help improve school meals.

Armour is currently one of two long-time board members, having been elected in 1995 for a four-year term and then again in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013. The school district has built and opened five new schools and is embarking on construction of the sixth new school in 19 years. The district also has opened a STEAM Academy during Amour’s tenure on the board. The school system’s graduation rate continues to climb, reaching a high of 91.1% in 2016 and exceeding double-digit percentage points during Armour’s tenure on the board. Academic programs that Armour and fellow board members have recently approved for students include mechatronics, agriculture, firefighting, welding, tours of local industries and apprenticeships, all of which have helped students find a niche and want to stay in school.

Armour’s work in education has even inspired his two daughters to become teachers.