Wed, 29 May, 2019
Students and staff across the District paid tribute to Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour this week, recalling her contributions to education, science and the community at her namesake school.
At an Edmonton Public School Board meeting Tuesday afternoon, Board Chair Michelle Draper expressed the Board’s sympathies to family and friends of Dr. Armour. The renowned educator and scientist passed away on May 25 at age 79.
“In 2016, we were honoured to open the doors of the school that bears the name of this great leader, pioneer and friend,” Draper said. “Dr. Armour believed in children. She had a hope for every child.”
Armour embraced her role as a school namesake, often dropping by to visit students and staff, joining the school during Read In Week, and greeting students on the first day of school.
“I know that the students and staff at Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour School will continue with her legacy of staying curious, open-minded and always learning,” Draper said.
Dr. Armour came to Edmonton from Scotland to complete her PhD in organic chemistry. From academic to pioneer, she became one of the founders of Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST). The program encourages women to enter careers traditionally dominated by men, kindling their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Armour also worked at correcting gender imbalance in university faculties, fighting to close the gap for women in academic leadership.
Her efforts and passions did not go unnoticed. Dr. Armour received the Order of Canada as well as a Governor General’s Award. She was twice named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network and her talents earned her the position of Assistant Dean of Diversity in the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta.
In 2016, the District honoured her legacy by opening Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour School in southwest Edmonton. Dr. Armour said at the time, “I want kids to have fun with science. That’s what keeps them interested.”
As an important role model for thousands of girls and women, Dr. Armour continued to impress upon students her passion for lifelong learning. She visited her namesake school often, attending various events and celebrations and chatting with students.
Her dedication to science continued until the very last days of her life. Dr. Armour was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Concordia University the day before she passed.
Dr. Armour's wit, charm and desire to make the world a better place will continue to inspire us for many years. As we reflect on her legacy, we invite you to listen to the insightful and encouraging words she shared upon the opening of her namesake school.
A memorial service in celebration of Dr. Armour's life will be held at Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour School, 3815 Allan Drive in southwest Edmonton, on Wednesday, June 12 at 7 p.m. Learn more about the service.