Elma Armistead, Ph.D.
ELMA ARMISTEAD, PH.D., attended St. Louis University “to become a good teacher.” However, without the encouragement of her male professors to enter administration, (always a male-dominated profession) Armistead might not have sought an administrative position. She became the first female assistant superintendent of schools for Lindbergh School District from 1965-1979 and the first woman associate superintendent of schools for Lindbergh School District in 1979.
She admits that many sacrifices accompanied the challenge of administrative advancement, yet “they are the same sacrifices a man had to make.” Although the sacrifices were similar, she felt she had to work twice as hard as men to prove herself equal to them.
“Personally, I have not felt discriminated against,” she stated, although there were “a lot of disappointing and discouraging instances.”
When asked what the highlights of her career were, Armistead discussed the implementation of the “middle school” concept. She was instrumental in initiating the first middle school program in Missouri (grades six-eight), which has now become the standard.
Armistead said her educational career was wonderful and her only regret was that she was unable to implement an elementary foreign language program.