Veteran special education teacher and department chair Bernadette Chavez has decided to call it a career. Chavez began teaching 29 years ago in Albuquerque, then relocated to El Paso to join the faculty here at Eastwood in 1993. She took over as department head for special education in 1998, and held that position for 15 years. "It's just been great," Chavez said of her time at Eastwood, "I am proud to have been part of the tradition here at Eastwood. I will be moving to Atlanta with my husband, who has just been promoted to a position there."
"Bernadette is the consummate professional," said Doug Antrim, special education teacher, "she worked tirelessly to find suitable jobs for the kids in the vocational programs, which is a job that goes largely unnoticed and unappreciated." Malcolm Best added, "she has always been punctual, conscientious, and more demanding of herself than most."
Through her years here, Chavez formed many lasting relationships with colleagues who have deep and genuine respect for her as an educator and friend. "Teaching at Eastwood carries tremendous responsibility," said Dolores Sanchez, retired career and technology teacher, "with the high standards and traditions of excellence, and Bernadette Chavez took that responsibility very seriously."
"Ms. Chavez has been a loyal and true friend, and her absence will leave a space very difficult to fill," said Antrim. "She did what professionals do; she tried to make positive change possible, and that affected the lives of many, many children over the years in positive ways."
"Bernadette was always the first to arrive," Best remembers, "and she always made all of our department feel special. She never forgot a birthday, or failed to recognize an accomplishment."
Sanchez said, "she has been an exceptional teacher, leader, and friend in our Eastwood Family."