Westlake High School

Important Message From Eanes ISD Trustees and Administrators

Eanes ISD Community,

Two weeks ago, Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd. His death was only the most recent public killing of an unarmed person of color. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, peaceful and violent protests have erupted around the world. As we have seen, those demonstrations have been met with heartwarming displays of solidarity, and baffling violent escalations.

Austin has not been spared. Nor has Eanes ISD.

Recently a group of Westlake graduates videoed themselves using language no one should, and engaging in behavior that diminishes every one of us. While different, both demand our attention and engagement.

We all have an obligation to respond.

Racism will not be tolerated in our schools, nor in our community. Neither the overt kind witnessed by all who saw the former students’ video, nor the covert sort that turns away silently when confronted by such behavior. Racism begets racism, and racism kills the soul of a community.  

As trustees, administrators and community members, we strive to ensure when students leave our care they do so with pure hearts, clear eyes, and open ears, prepared to critically think about, carefully listen to, and openly discuss the challenges and differences of others. We take this responsibility very seriously.

We teach about the value of, and need for diversity in our social studies and English classes. We discuss diversity, race relations and community building when events or tragedies occur, trying to turn each into learning opportunities.

Nelson Mandela quote

We have embedded responsibilities among staff to specifically address diversity challenges, initiated a social-emotional awareness campaign, and have eliminated culturally insensitive Westlake High School traditions. Our entire Eanes ISD staff has embraced the importance of giving all individuals dignity and respect.

Are we doing enough? No. Can we do more? Yes.

Eanes trustees, administrators, teachers and staff will continue to develop approaches to more effectively address this challenge in our schools, and in the hearts and minds of those entrusted to us. Please take advantage of the summer break and spend time reflecting on what you can do individually, as a family and as a community member to answer the growing challenge of racism.

George Floyd will be buried in Houston early next week. Let us commit today to be the change our society needs. We must do this together. There is no other way.

We welcome your thoughts or concerns. We are always available.

Respectfully,

Eanes ISD Trustees
Jennifer Champagne, President
John Havenstrite, Vice-President
Jason Paull, Secretary    
Ellen Balthazar   
Christie Bybee
Heather Sheffield   
James Spradley   
 
      Eanes ISD Administration
Dr. Tom Leonard, Superintendent   
Dr. Jeff Arnett, Deputy Superintendent
Linda Rawlings, Interim Associate Superintendent
Molly May, Chief Student Support Officer
Laurie Lee, Chief Human Resources Officer
Susan Fambrough, Cedar Creek Principal/Chief Learning Officer

Eanes ISD Principals
Tiffany Phelps, Barton Creek Elementary
Heather Meek, Bridge Point Elementary
Brad Wirht, Cedar Creek Elementary (Incoming)
Lesley Ryan, Eanes Elementary
Cody Spraberry, Forest Trail Elementary
Jennifer Dusek, Valley View Elementary
Kathleen Sullivan, Hill Country Middle School
Dianne Carter, West Ridge Middle School
Steve Ramsey, Westlake High School