Armistead women are valedictorians three
When it comes to brains, and putting them to work, you’d be hard-pressed to find better examples than the Armistead women.
When Alyssa Robinson was named the Class of 2020 valedictorian, she was following in the footsteps of her mom, and her aunt, all of whom have held that top honor.
And all of whom at Florida State Unievrsity Seminoles through and through.
Alyssa’s mom, the former Jennifer Armistead, was the val in 1993 at Apalachicola High School, with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, like her daughter,
That year, Frank Stephens was the principal, and Mark Willis salutatorian.
“I had a great school experience,” she said, recalling how she too was class president, active on Student Council, in National Honor Society and Beta Club, as well as a cheerleader.
“I pretty much did it all,” she said. “I enjoyed high school a bunch, They were among the better days of my life, with good friends and good times.”
She singled out math teacher Myra Ponder as one of the best teachers she has ever had.
“She really cared a lot,” said Robinson. “She would do anything for her students, a wonderful person all the way around.”
She also singled out Susan Galloway, who she said was one of the best English teachers she ever had.
Jennifer’s older sister Stephanie “Nikki” Cash also cited Ponder and Galloway for the immense influence they had on their educations.
Cash had graduated in 1990 from AHS and like her younger sister to follow, she too was valedictorian.
Back then, Stephens was also the principal and Cash also carried a perfect 4.0 gpa. The salutatorian was Tassy Weller, now Spinks, the daughter of the Episcopal pastor.
Cash earned a full ride to FSU, where she earned a bachelors in 1993, and a masters of social work a year later. She went on to work for child protection services for eight years.
“I decided prevention was probably a better option. Prevention is where it’s at,” she said.
Eager to live in the big city, she “came back kicking and screaming” to her native county, married to a heating and air conditioning man.
Cash went on to raise her family here, and has worked at the health department since 2002, where she runs the Healthy Family voluntary home visitation program.
Like her young sister, and her niece, she has been a lifelong devotee of learning.
“Learning comes naturally,” Cash said. “Grades were important, I like to excel in anything I do.” She went on to graduate magna cum laude from FSU.
Robinson earned a degree in criminology from FSU, in three years not four, and went on to do social work before settling into the life of a stay-at-home mom.
“I always wanted to do the best I could, I always tried my hardest in school,” she said. “I was very serious about my school work. I took school very seriously.”
Alyssa’s future plans are to pursue a degree in marketing, or hospitality and tourism management, at FSU.