Community Comes Together to Honor A Hero

The El Paso Independent School District is in mourning after the passing of Coach Archie Duran, an Irvin High School educator who died early Sunday morning when the bus he and other track coaches and student athletes were riding was involved in a tragic accident.  Coach Duran was a beloved teacher and successful track and basketball coach who for more than a decade touched the lives of students and his fellow educators. His loss has been deeply felt by the Irvin, EPISD and El Paso communities.

As a District, we will continue to do everything we can to support not just the students and staff at Irvin, but also the Duran Family during these difficult times.  Coach’s wife, Maribel, is also a teacher in EPISD, and his children — daughters Ariana and Maribel Liseth, and son Archie — all either graduated from or are currently students in the District.  The Durans are truly an EPISD Family.

This tragedy has, however, brought us together. Students, teachers and administrators from every corner of El Paso have supported Irvin and the Durans. I want to especially thank the counselors at Irvin and from throughout the District who helped our students and teachers cope.

On Wednesday, the students and staff at Irvin organized a memorial for Coach Duran at the school’s Memorial Stadium.  Hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects and share stories about the man who always wanted to make sure his students were having fun while learning and training.  This wonderful event really helped some of us cope with the loss of a great educator, friend and family member.

I extend my gratitude to the principals, administrators, student activities managers and teachers from schools all over EPISD for offering whatever support they could — from balloons and water to student and staff volunteers. Your love and support meant a lot to Irvin.

I also want to thank the many businesses, neighboring school districts and individuals who have helped us honor Coach Duran:

  • Texas Sen. José Rodríguez for honoring Coach Duran on the floor of the Senate.
  • The Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees and Administration for their acts of kindness toward Irvin and EPISD.
  • Tents & Events for donating tents for the memorial.
  • Whataburger an Subway on Montana for donating meals to Irvin students, teachers and community members
  • Clear Channel for donating space in three of their digital billboards to honor Coach Duran.
  • University Medical Center and Del Sol Medical Center for their continued care of students and coaches.
  • Socorro and Tornillo school districts for offering their guidance and counseling resources.
  • Ysleta ISD student activities managers for volunteering at the memorial

There are many, many more individuals and organizations who have helped Irvin cope with their loss.  On behalf of myself and the Board of Trustees, we are grateful for your support. EPISD is stronger because of partners like you.

May Coach Duran rest in peace. And may his memory live forever at EPISD.

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