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Dana Eaton’s legacy at Foothill honored in celebration

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Dana Eaton’s legacy at Foothill honored in celebration

Past Foothill students take a selfie with Dana. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Past Foothill students take a selfie with Dana. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Past Foothill students take a selfie with Dana. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Past Foothill students take a selfie with Dana. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Jocelyn Brossia

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Long-time campus supervisor Dana Eaton rode through campus on a decked-out golf cart to deliver the morning announcements one last time on Feb. 22, 2018. Spending close to two decades at Foothill, Eaton was welcomed with open arms by the familiar faces of students, staff and alumni.

Due to his health, Eaton retired from his duties as campus supervisor in December.

Associated Student Body (ASB) Coordinator Melanie “Captain” Lindsey said that the school originally planned to honor him at the graduation ceremony this coming June. However, Lindsey was told on Tuesday that this may not be possible, as Eaton’s health is declining.

 

 

“[ASB] found out on Tuesday that we weren’t going to be able to do this at graduation, so we threw together a celebration. We wanted Dana to know […] how much he meant to this massive community of people,” she said.

Dana chats with an alumna. Credit: Abigail Massar / the Foothill Dragon Press

Dana chats with an alumna. Credit: Abigail Massar / the Foothill Dragon Press

Lindsey was able to gather an large crowd of alumni in little time through her use of social media. For those who couldn’t make it, nearly “10 pages of little quarter-page letters” were sent in in the span of two days by alumni to express their gratitude for all Eaton has done for them and the campus.

According to Principal Joe Bova, “he’s been a huge part of the school, like an institution at Foothill since the school opened in 2000.”

“He really connects with students, and he’s a big part of creating the kind of culture we have here at Foothill,” Bova said. Everyone at the event “really wanted to make him feel that people love him and the impact he’s had on the school.”

Of course, Eaton’s favorite part about working at the school was the kids. He believes that he “got as much, if not more, out of” his time with the students than the students got out of their time with him. 

Only a few can truthfully say they love their job, and Eaton has the privilege to be one of those people. He adamantly stands by the age-old phrase, “you do something you like, and you never work a day in your life.”

He made his appearance on Wednesday because of “what I get out of it. I hope people believe that—it wasn’t for you guys, it was for me.”

Eaton joked that he guesses “everyone is tired of hearing my voice on the bulletin everyday.” Nevertheless, he knows the extent of which his daily reiteration of his trademark phrase “make it a great day or not—the choice is yours” has affected people’s lives—including his own.

“Irreplaceable memories. I love being here,” Eaton reflected. “Probably just that silly quote is what they’ll remember me for, and that’s fine.”

 

 

“Now I’ve been saying ‘any day above ground is a great day.’ I’ve actually said that a long time, and I absolutely really believe it,” he said.

In order to honor his time and perpetuate his legacy at Foothill, ASB was “all in favor” of making a long-awaited Foothillian motto after almost 18 years without one: “the choice is yours.”

“We knew we wanted it to be something that he had said, and Dana was the person who made popular, ‘make it a great day or not—the choice is yours,'” Lindsey said. “We wanted to make it generic enough so that ‘the choice is yours’ […] spoke of opportunity for kids.”

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Dana Eaton’s legacy at Foothill honored in celebration