Veteran Chemistry teacher Jennifer Espinoza follows heart to Irving, Texas

Eight-year veteran science teacher Jennifer Espinoza will be leaving Eastwood at the close of the semester for Irving, Texas.  "I'm following my heart," she says, "and I'm taking the big step and getting married."  Espinoza's fiance is employed in the Dallas area, and his job does not promise a transfer back to El Paso.  "It's very sad for me to leave," Espinoza says. "I love the students and the faculty has been like a second family to me."  English teacher Chris Towers expressed sadness at the news.  "That's a blow to Eastwood," she said.  "Jennifer is a very strong teacher, and those are hard to come by."

During her time at Eastwood, (Espinoza was a 2000 graduate) she has learned much about teaching and teenagers.  "I've grown much more patient and understanding, learning to deal with so many different personalities.  I've especially learned to express myself and communicate more clearly and in more interesting ways; you have to keep them awake!" Of all the great memories she has of her time here, Espinoza shared one of her favorites:  "At my first 'Star Party,' one student looked at Saturn through the telescope and exclaimed, 'Wow!  That looks real.' I realized then what learning science is all about-- that moment of discovery is cool to see."

The bonds Espinoza has formed with her colleagues will also be difficult for her and the science department.  Their playful relationships were captured by Chip Brasgalla, physics teacher:  "I'm so proud to see her blossom from a mediocre student in my chemistry class to a mediocre teacher in her own chemistry class," he said with a devious chuckle.  "I think she'll appreciate that."

Students as well praise Espinoza's teaching skills, "She has such a calm and encouraging style of teaching; she can make even the students who dislike and struggle with science understand difficult concepts-- even me," said junior Cary Early.  "You hate to see a teacher like that leave a school."