INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Robert East, Foundation Academy

Robert East is the director of athletics and operations at Foundation Academy.

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Robert East is the director of athletics and operations at Foundation Academy.

In his role, East is in charge of the athletic program, as well as the functional needs of the school — from air-conditioning systems to the student handbook and all points inbetween. He currently is coordinating the effects of FA’s large construction projects with school functions, as well as contributing to the completion of the buildings. East said he could not handle this many responsibilities without his excellent teams in FA facilities and athletics. As an educator for 28 years, East has been named STAR Teacher and All Star Coach several times each. However, his greatest honors are serving with the faculty and staff at FA and being a dad to his children, Jacob and Avery.

“He started as a teacher (and) then became dean of students and now (serves in his) current role,” President Dave Buckles said. “He is known for his dad jokes!”

What brought you to your school?

My move to Foundation is a part of my testimony. God put circumstances in my life that led me directly to FA. I have to give Coach Brad Lord some credit, as he was adamant that I needed to be here.

What do you love most about your school?

I love that FA really is family! We have an atmosphere of caring for the needs of our students and their families, academically and personally. We are here to love God and love others.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I am rewarded by being privileged to witness both the short-term and long-term growth of our students. This time of year, I am in awe of our seniors, having seen their growth personally for more than six years.

What would you be if you weren’t in this profession?

I have no idea what else to do. I am an educator at my core.

Who influences you?

I am influenced by my colleagues at FA, by the example set by Christ and by my late grandfather, who played the role of (a) dad to me when I did not have one.

What is your favorite children’s book?

My favorite children’s book to this day is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. It paints a picture of resilience through change and growth, both through good times and bad, and ends in such a hopeful way.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am blessed with the greatest family on the planet with my wife and almost-grown children. I like to do whatever they are doing!

If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?

Walter Payton, Hall of Fame running back for the Chicago Bears. He brought a sense of class and grace to his dominating performances on the field.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because it has always been one shared with my wife and kids. We have a brunch tradition that is unbeatable.

What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

I was an all-state football player in high school but a lousy college player with an overly brief career. 



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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