Montgomery ISD announced Oct. 19 its inaugural principal of Lake Creek High School, Phil Eaton, will retire in December. Eaton has served 43 years in education, including 13 years in MISD, according to a statement from the district.

Eaton was selected as the first principal of Lake Creek when the district opened the campus in 2018. Previously, he served as principal of Montgomery High School from 2008-17, according to the district.

“I am a beneficiary of being surrounded by amazing people all throughout my career,” Eaton said in the statement. “For me, it’s always been about the people—the team—and I have made life-long friends here in Montgomery and beyond.”

Eaton also coached varsity boys basketball for 17 years with more than 400 career wins, according to MISD. He coached in Pasadena and Humble ISDs and was named among the top 100 high school boys basketball coaches in Texas University Interscholastic League history in 2020.

In his career, Eaton also served as an assistant principal at Humble High School and Spring High School as well as the first principal of Spring's Dekaney High School, according to MISD information.

During the 2019-20 school year, Eaton spent 51 days in the hospital suffering from COVID-19, with his Caring Bridge page receiving more than 50,000 visits during that time, according to a statement from the district.

"As I arrived in Montgomery ISD, Eaton was recovering from his very public battle with COVID-19,” MISD Superintendent Heath Morrison said in a statement. “I was immediately inspired by this man, whose focus was just as much about his students and staff as it was his own personal health.”

Eaton's retirement is effective in December, according to the district.

"The impact of these 43 years will live on through the students and educators he has led on the court, in the classroom and from the front office. This not the end of Phil Eaton’s leadership journey. It is simply the beginning of a new chapter," Morrison said in a statement.