Ninah Ontiveros can’t be described simply in one sentence or phrase. That would not truly serve in fairness to a young woman who has put so much effort into a school that can never justly give it back. The amount of work, dedication, and spirited attitude Ontiveros has put forth during her four year tenure at Eastwood cannot be understated. However, Ontiveros is now graduating, and in doing so, leaving Eastwood with a gap that might not be easily replaced. Ninah, a graduating senior, has worn many different hats during her time at Eastwood.
When looking at a list of the many accomplishments, clubs, and roles she has had the past four years it’s one of the more impressive resumes around. Ninah Ontiveros walked into Eastwood as a Freshman that was trying to find her niche, a place in the school to call home, she now leaves El Paso’s Finest a confident, well rounded senior who has the eternal distinction of being a successful student not only academically, but from an extracurricular standpoint as well. Ontiveros has found her passion throughout high school by being a member of the award winning theater and video tech groups, respectively. Each of the clubs has had an unprecedented amount of success during her time. After initially wanting to pursue Track and Field as a freshman, Ontiveros switched her course as a sophomore to the cameras and the stage; it was nothing short of consistent success from there.
Standing now as a soon to be graduate, Ontiveros believes that she has improved from an acting standpoint, among others when it comes to theatre “I think improvisation is one thing I’ve improved on from acting, also with reacting better in scenes that I might not be the main or lead in” she reflects. Ontiveros also added that given her vast variations of activities and characters on stage on particular that she has played that she sees herself as able to be very adaptable as a person. Just like anything at Eastwood, for Ninah and the rest of the theatre troupe, the shows and competitions were not just put together overnight. The team would often prep for competitions and plays starting months before opening nights, working through each summer. Ontiveros has acted in various amounts of plays during her tenure including some notable roles as Carla in the musical “In the Heights” in early 2015. Other roles include playing Annabelle Lee in “The Still Life of Iris” and also being in the chorus for “Little Shop of Horrors” during her junior year. Other notable performances have been the various “sketches” that the theater group has put on including improvisation as well as Lip Sync in which she was also the Emcee this past year, a job that certainly not easy task.
Perhaps no accomplishment had more of a meaning than the theater group and their well-documented run towards a UIL state championship, falling just short at regionals in the one act play category. Ontiveros was member of that group which was easily the farthest the theatre from the school had gone in the state tournament in history.
The young woman also thinks that the time management that was demanded as an effect of the club played a crucial role in teaching her a valuable life skill, “Theatre definitely taught me how to manage my time and also give myself priorities”. The management was obviously needed, Ontiveros, on top of the demands of theatre and video tech, also was a three year active member of the Thespian Honor Society which an organization related towards drama clubs and their members. Other groups Ninah was a part of included National Honor Society, Video Tech club, where she served as the Vice President for the organization and was also an officer for the drama club as a senior. Another interesting layer of Ninah’s involvement included being a Cappies Critic. Essentially, Ontiveros would take time out of her busy schedule to go to local plays in the area, mostly other high schools, and review and critic them. A job that seems very impressive in and of itself.
Aside from the stage, Ninah also was able to find a passion working with cameras, in particular reporting from in front of them. Being in video tech, Ontiveros was one of a select few that was able to compete at Student Television Network or STN, a national week long competition that brings in kids from video tech groups from all over the country to compete in various categories. Ontiveros was a three time participant of the competition, making trips with her fellow team members to Los Angeles, Orlando and San Diego. It was here that Ontiveros said she found what she wanted to do possibly for a living, “At STN I was able to place 2nd in weather reporting my senior year and the entire experience made me realize I wanted to study that in college”.
Extracurricular activities for Ninah are seemingly endless, she even was a school cheerleader for a year as a sophomore. It would be an understatement to say that Ontiveros was heavily involved during her time at Eastwood. However, one of the biggest notes to point out is Ninah’s humbleness.
Government teacher Gary Pippen suggested that Ninah be the subject of a Sabre feature. Pippen says, “When I think of Ninah I think of three things about her 1) she’s very intelligent, 2) She’s a hard worker and 3) she’s very modest about the whole thing”. Pippen’s notice falls right in line with Ontiveros’ personality, consistently giving praise too her fellow cast members and even friends, “I would say that my friends are definitely one of my sources of drive because everyone needs to rely on each other, especially in something such as theater or just in school in general” Ontiveros answers when asked about a bit of her determination. Friends certainly mean a great deal to Ninah who she credits as helping her get better each day.
Looking towards the future, Ontiveros says she plans to attend Lubbock Christian University starting in the fall with the intended major of Mass Media Communications. Pippen also added he believes Ontiveros will be one of the true bright sports to come out of her class, “Whatever she sets out to do I am more than sure she will be very successful at it, I wish her the best”. Ninah Ontiveros may not have received the most attention of fame at school, but it is true Troopers like her that make the school run day in and day out. She will now be closing her chapter here at Eastwood, but her potential and her future truly have no limit. With that it is now time for her to go out and make the school proud to call her an alum; good luck to Ninah and the rest of the class of 2015.