Tilghman teen has exceptional work ethic
Every year Armstrong has been in school he's played football, basketball and baseball, and he's also taken part in soccer, roller hockey, disc golf, golf and taekwondo. You name it, he's probably not only played it, but excelled at it, too. Armstrong is a gifted athlete, as well as a gifted student. He's only .024 points shy of a perfect GPA, which is impressive for any student but especially so for a multi-sport athlete handling a course-load full of honors and Advanced Placement classes.

"I actually do have time to sleep," Armstrong said with a chuckle after being asked how he's able to be so well-rested given his schedule. "I actually end up going to sleep by around 9 o'clock every night. I work really hard all day and then sleep really well."

Armstrong, son of Karen and James Armstrong, of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week. Each Monday, The Sun features a different teen selected from nominees submitted by guidance counselors across western Kentucky and southern Illinois. Next spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners. The Teen of the Year will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

"Aaron is a 'yes sir,' 'no sir,' only have to ask him to do something once type of kid," said Chris Johnson, Armstrong's baseball coach and college counselor at Tilghman. "He's just a great kid. Smart. Intelligent. Studious. Let me put it this way: if I had a daughter, he's the kind of kid I'd want her to date. That says a lot!"

Armstrong can't quite explain what it is that drives him to work so hard and keep so busy. It's just what he's always done, and what has always felt right.

"I've always been taught to try hard on everything you do," he said. "So that's what I try to do, and I really do enjoy it. I don't like not having anything to do. Like this winter for example, I'm not playing basketball, so I'm actually working two jobs instead."

Somewhere between his school days and his practices, Armstrong finds time to work about 15 hours a week at Panera Bread and about eight hours at Immanuel Baptist Church as a gym monitor and basketball clinic instructor. For the past two years, he's also served as a tutor and mentor for his mother's fourth grade students at Clark Elementary School.
And of course, he has to find time to follow his favorite teams: the New Orleans Saints, the University of Wisconsin Badgers and the Chicago Cubs - all odd teams to have as favorites as a western Kentuckian, he knows.

"I have family in Wisconsin and the Chicago area, so the Cubs and the Badgers were just what I was raised to like," Armstrong said. "I like the New Orleans Saints mostly because they have Drew Brees. He's just a really good guy on and off the field."

Armstrong recently committed to play baseball for Southern Illinois College in the fall and plans to study forensics and crime scene investigation with a minor in Spanish. He's always been fascinated by crime shows and has always loved studying science in school.

As he gets closer to graduation, studying forensics with a possible future in law seems like the best direction for him. Once again he'll be managing demanding athletic and academic schedules, but those who know Armstrong have no doubt he'll manage it all with ease.
"You don't have to ask him to put in work, in the classroom or outside the classroom, on the field or off the field," Johnson said. "He's going to do it himself. However you want to say it, his work ethic is second to none. He gets it done!"

Contact Genevieve Postlethwait, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or at gpostlethwait@paducahsun.com.
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