826 Valencia is happy to announce that Michael Armenta of Edison Charter Academy is our September Teacher of the Month! Mr. Armenta is the K-8th grade Physical Education Teacher at Edison. Many of the students who stop by 826 Valencia for after-school tutoring go to Edison, so we were delighted to learn more about what an impact Mr. Armenta has had on the school. Ms. Sabrina Yacoub, his colleague and the Education Specialist at Edison, says, “Mr. Armenta is by far the best Physical Education Teacher I have ever seen.”
Not only does Mr. Armenta encourage students endlessly so that 100 percent of them participate, but also he goes beyond physical activity with his creative and holistic lessons. “The curriculum culminates in a physical education that incorporates lessons in physiology, anatomy, and health, preparing students for careers in physical theory, athletics, and medicine,” says Yacoub.
Mr. Armenia’s hard work does not stop in the classroom. He has spent every spare minute he has had at Edison building an athletics program for the school. Stephanie Rodriguez, an eighth grade student at Edison, says, “He was the one who first made the basketball team, and he was the one who told us to never give up, even when we lost our first game.” Stephanie’s mother, María Rodriguez, couldn’t agree more that what Mr. Armenta teaches through athletics is as important as what he teaches during school hours. She says, “I believe Mr. Armenta has showed a good lesson to the kids that it is not about winning, but about believing and working hard with each other.”
Stephanie’s teammates, Raquel Ellis and Jessica R., also are thankful for his extra work to create team opportunities. Without him, “we wouldn’t have had a team,” says Jessica, and Raquel: “Mr. Armenta taught the girls’ basketball team to trust one another and communicate more and believe in ourselves.”
In addition to basketball, Mr. Armenta has added a track team and hopes to have a volleyball team, too. Mr. Armenta has put in countless hours to create these programs and build teams in and outside of the classroom. He truly understands how all kinds of activities make the school day, and the learning experience, complete. As Ms. Yacoub says, “He selflessly puts in the extra touches to make a learning community complete.” Thank you, Mr. Armenta, for taking a whole-student approach to teaching. We’re so fortunate to have teachers like you in our community.