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Home | Tag Archives: eastwood high

Tag Archives: eastwood high

Eastwood High principal announces retirement

After a lengthy career in public education in the El Paso area, Eastwood High School Principal David Boatright announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of June after 22 years of service at the Ysleta Independent School District.

“Retirement to me is not what I am retiring from, but what I am retiring to,” said Boatright, who has served the last three years as Eastwood High School principal. “I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work in the Ysleta Independent School District for most of my professional career.”

YISD officials say Boatright’s outstanding and thoughtful leadership in the Eastwood Learning Community made him a “highly respected and trusted figure among students, parents, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members.”

Thanks to his vast experience with Trooper traditions and knowledge of secondary curriculum, Boatright and his administrative team successfully navigated an extensive two-year, $93 million renovation of Eastwood High School that saw a reconstruction of nearly 90% of the campus.

The bond-funded renovation was completed earlier this school year, marked by a festive campus celebration that featured past principals, noted alumni, and student-led tours of the school’s impressive, state-of-the-art academic, athletic, and fine arts facilities.

The celebration also featured a special nod to the Troopers of the Class of 2020, who spent nearly two years in portable classes during the reconstruction.

The remarkable Class of 2020 now serves as Boatright’s final graduating class, during an extraordinary spring semester marked by school closures and stay-home orders due to COVID-19.

Boatright’s career in education began in 1991 as a P.E. teacher at Irvin High School, where he remained for two years before moving to Eastwood High School in 1993 to coach and teach social studies.

In 2007, he became an assistant principal at Montwood High School, then returned to Ysleta ISD in 2012.

During his 29 years in public education, Boatright spent 21 years in the Eastwood Learning Community, serving as a world history teacher, world geography teacher, wrestling coach, Eastwood High School assistant principal, and Eastwood Middle School principal before assuming leadership of Eastwood High School in 2017.

“Thank you, Eastwood High School, for the friendships and lessons learned,” Boatright added, in his typical jovial and lighthearted manner. “I salute you!”

YISD Superintendent surprises Eastwood Senior with National Merit Scholar Award announcement

Sarunas Budreckis, a senior at Eastwood High School, was surprised in class Wednesday morning by Ysleta ISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre, who announced that Sarunas is a finalist a 2020 National Merit Scholarship for outstanding academics and leadership.

Sarunas is among about 14,000 students nationwide to be named a 2020 National Merit Scholarship finalist, which offers more than $31 million in college- and corporate-funded scholarships.

Sarunas first qualified for the National Merit program in 2018, when he earned one of the country’s highest scores on the PSAT taken by more than 1.5 million high-school juniors.

Over the last few years, Eastwood High School officials say Sarunas has had an impressive impact on the school. He established a new Programming and Game Design Club, where he teaches students to code and design games.

The group has won state- and national-level competitions with more than 30 members, and is now working on an Eastwood-based mobile game, with overwhelming support from fellow students and teachers.

National Merit Scholar Sarunas Budreckis | Photo by YISD

Sarunas is also the president of Speech & Debate; president of the Math Club; head coder in Robotics, where he wrote code to represent Eastwood in the VEX Robotics World Championships; and a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Science Bowl, High-Q, National Honor Society, and varsity Orchestra.

Outside of school, Sarunas plays violin in the El Paso Youth Symphony, regularly performing at the Plaza and Abraham Chavez Theatre. He is also the Cadet Commander of the El Paso Squadron in the Civil Air Patrol, where he organizes and oversees its activities, including large community service projects like Wreaths Across America, and has amassed more than 500 community service hours in his high-school career.

Last year, Sarunas was a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar, which allowed him to complete design challenges, technology writings. and monthly webinars with NASA scientists and engineers.

Because Sarunas was among the program’s highest-achievers, he was invited to NASA for a weeklong camp at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

National Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference

Three types of National Merit Scholarships are being offered this spring. Officials say 2,500 National Merit scholarships will be awarded on a state-representational basis; about 1,000 Merit Scholarships will be provided by corporations and business organizations; and about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 Merit Scholarships for students who subsequently attend those institutions.

***For the record…

An earlier version of this story had Eastwood High School senior Sarunas Budreckis being awarded a National Merit Scholarship.  District officials released that he is a finalist only at this point, not a scholarship awardee as they had previously announced. The 2020 National Merit Scholars are set to be announced later this year.   

We apologize for the error.

Deby Lewis Foundation Sells 560 Commemorative Bricks for Walkway at Renovated Eastwood High

With the help of the Paso del Norte Foundation, the family of a longtime Eastwood High School educator is ensuring her memory lives on by helping students fund their college education while creating a lasting tribute to their daughter.

“Eastwood was Deby’s life; she wanted to make it the best place she possibly could,” Deby Lewis’ mother, Betty, said. “Her goal was to see that every student would become what they were capable of being.”

With Eastwood High currently undergoing extensive renovations, the Deby Lewis Foundation — `part of the Paso del Norte Foundation’s Community of Philanthropy — saw an opportunity to raise more money to help send kids to college and honor the memory of Deby Lewis.

Photo courtesy Deby Lewis Foundation

Over the last several months, the foundation has been selling commemorative bricks that will be used to build a walkway at the school.

The bricks are engraved with names of Eastwood High students and faculty, past and present, and include their graduating class, high school legacy, groups, teams or a personal message.

Teachers, students and alumni have purchased about 560 commemorative bricks. Proceeds from the donations will go to fund scholarships for Eastwood High students.

The non-profit was founded by Betty Lewis to honor and memorialize longtime Eastwood High School educator Deby Lewis. Lewis was a graduate of Eastwood, who went on to a 36-year career as a tennis coach, student activities director and Ysleta Independent School District board member. Lewis passed away in 2015.

Since being founded in 2016, the Deby Lewis Foundation has awarded 16 scholarships to deserving students.

Eastwood High Senior Awarded YISD’s President’s Award for February

The Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees honored Eastwood High School senior Ryan Solis, who has devoted nearly 500 hours of his free time over the past four years to community and public service, with the February President’s Award.

Aside from participating in more than 20 extracurricular clubs, Ryan is an active part of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, where he served as an associate director and the youngest member of the Board of Governors for two terms. He is also a district office intern with State Senator Cesar Blanco in the Office of Texas House Minority Whip.

In addition, Ryan co-founded a community project called Safety in Cognizance, which seeks to combat human trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico border by working with international organizations. Through this project, Ryan has given presentations on safety and prevention that have impacted more than 1,200 students.

Ryan’s exceptional work has been honored nationwide with a Disney Dreamer Award – and last week, he accepted a community service award in Washington D.C. from the National Hispanic Heritage Foundation. Ryan’s efforts to improve the lives of all residents in the El Paso region are admirable, and YISD is proud to honor his passion and dedication to public service.

The President’s Award is given by the President of the Board of Trustees to a YISD student who has demonstrated exceptional and/or innovative, out-of-the-ordinary service to others, particularly those within the YISD community. This award will be presented to the selected recipient a maximum of once per month during the regularly scheduled meeting of the YISD Board of Trustees.

Eligible YISD students must be nominated for the award by a school principal, assistant principal, or Trustee; and must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Story In Many Pics: Eastwood Stuns Montwood 41-21

On the final, regular season game of the high school football season, the Eastwood Troopers certainly earned their ‘Trooper Clap’ and more, as they upset the formerly unbeaten Montwood Rams 41-21.

Our very own Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game in tonight’s story in Many Pics.

Eastwood vs Montwood. November 10,2017


Ysleta ISD Announces Appointment of Principals for Eastwood, Parkland High Schools

The Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced Thursday morning the appointment of two new principals for Eastwood and Parkland high schools, which were approved by the Board of Trustees during its regular meeting Wednesday night.

Penelope Bankston, current principal at Valley View Middle School, has been named the new principal at Parkland High School following a comprehensive selection process that included 15 applicants.

Bankston began her professional career in 1994 as an elementary school bilingual teacher in Alpine, Texas. Since that time, she has served as a middle-school reading teacher, a high-school dyslexia teacher, high-school instructional specialist, a high-school assistant principal and principal of Valley View Middle School.

Bankston has spent the majority of her career – 18 of 23 years – in northeast El Paso. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, a master’s degree in reading, and a master’s degree in educational administration, all from Sul Ross State University.

YISD officials say her knowledge of secondary curriculum, as well as her longtime experience working with the Northeast community, will play a pivotal role in leading Parkland High School toward continued academic success.

David Boatright, current principal at Eastwood Middle School, has been named the new principal of Eastwood High School following a thorough, comprehensive nationwide selection process that included 21 applicants.

Boatright began his career in education in 1991 as a physical education teacher at Irvin High School. Over the course of his career – 18 of which were spent in the Eastwood Learning Community – he also served as a world history teacher, world geography teacher, wrestling coach, Eastwood High School assistant principal, and Eastwood Middle School principal. Boatright holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology

from UTEP and a master’s degree in educational administration from Sul Ross State University.

The respect and success Boatright has earned in the Eastwood community, along with his awareness of Trooper traditions and knowledge of secondary curriculum, will continue to lead Eastwood High School toward higher levels of success, YISD officials said.

Bankston and Boatright’s new positions both take effect Monday, July 24.

Eastwood High to host STEM-themed ‘Girl Powered’ Event

The Eastwood High School Robotics Team will partner with Robotics Education Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics, Inc. to host the “Girl Powered” event at 9 a.m. Tuesday, October 11, at the Eastwood High School small gym (2430 McRae.)

More than 300 girls from across El Paso will participate in an array of engaging activities, speakers, and workshops to excite and further interest girls in competitive robotics, coinciding with the International Day of the Girl Child. Throughout the day, the participants will have the opportunity to hear from STEM organizations, participate in a leadership activity, and engage in a robotics speed-build activity.

“Eastwood Robotics is proud to support this great foundation,” said Raul Torres, Eastwood robotics coach. “Anything we can do to empower, inform, and engage more girls to pursue careers in STEM and robotics is worth doing,”

Girl Powered is an initiative to engage more young women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through competitive robotics. Annually, the REC Foundation presents a series of robotics engineering programs that engage students from elementary school through college in the classroom and at after-school competitions in hands-on technology challenges that build their interest in STEM.

“The REC Foundation is thrilled to announce Girl Powered in partnership with VEX Robotics to advance girls’ interest in STEM through competitive robotics,” said Jason Morrella, president of REC Foundation. “In business and in education, we know that our toughest challenges are best solved with a diversity of opinion. We all benefit by engaging more young women in competitive robotics as these students will become our future innovators and problem-solvers.”

More than 20,000 teams around the world are expected to compete this season in the VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U. Students have already begun designing, building, and programming robots to compete this season at more than 1,350 local, state, and regional competition events, which culminate in the VEX Robotics World Championship in April.

“The Girl Powered initiative aligns perfectly with the inclusive values on which VEX Robotics was founded,” commented Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics, Inc. “This program is a natural extension of where our company is headed and will help ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience the potential of STEM taught through the excitement of robotics.”


Eastwood High School Hosts Community Food Drive Tuesday Night

Students and community members will have the opportunity to participate in a community food drive and health fair at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in the school cafeteria.

Eastwood officials say, “The goal is to collect enough food supplies to benefit 200 families within the Eastwood Learning Community.”

The event is hosted by Eastwood

High School in conjunction with the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, their local Communities in Schools program, the PTSA, and Student Council.

Medical agencies and vendors will be available at the health fair to provide information as well.

What: Community food drive and health fair

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 10

Who: Students, teachers, staff, and community members

Where: Cafeteria, Eastwood High School, 2430 McRae Blvd.

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