Feature

District remembers former student with new scholarship

Eli Weinstock stands with his family at his Bexley High School graduation in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Cohn)

“He had this aura that drew people in,” said science teacher Josh Butcher of 2019 graduate Eli Weinstock. 

Weinstock passed away unexpectedly in March at his home in Washington, D.C. where he attended American University, according to his family. Since his passing, the Bexley Education Foundation has announced a new scholarship fund in his honor which has already raised more than $100,000. 

High school math teacher Melissa McCreary said that the scholarship will provide need-based scholarship opportunities for students who would have resonated with Weinstock. 

“Eli will continue to be remembered here as they give out the scholarship every year,” she said.

McCreary said she taught Weinstock his freshman and senior years in Honors Algebra 1 and Precalculus with Limits, respectively.

“Eli was so smart and always wanted a challenge,” she said. “He wanted to know things for the sake of just knowing them.”

McCreary described Weinstock as someone who could always find that right moment to crack a joke.

“Just when he would start to fade into the background of a class, he would say 

something so funny and well timed,” she said. “He could just read the moment.”

McCreary said Eli was with all his good friends senior year, and the class “kept me on my toes.”

2019 Bexley graduate Livia Hill was one of the students in that class and a friend of Weinstock.

“Eli and I had a lot of classes together throughout high school, which is how we became such great friends,” she said.

Hill said Eli was known as the “funny guy” throughout school.

“He was very witty, always making jokes and making others laugh,” she said. “Most of our teachers knew that when we were together, we’d be goofing around.”

Butcher said he saw Weinstock’s funny side in his Chemistry class.

“Eli was like the class clown, and he always kept the mood light in Chemistry,” Butcher said. “He was a social butterfly.”

Weinstock enjoyed the social part of school and Chemistry class the most, Butcher believed.

“He enjoyed his classmates and the social aspect of the class more so than the actual course,” he said. “He was more of an in-person, developing relationships kind of kid.”

Weinstock was a good friend inside as well as outside of school and loved to help others, Hill explained.

“I used to make daily vlogs on my camera and Eli loved to help, whether it was doing something funny in front of the camera or helping edit,” she said. “It was really fun, and I am so grateful to have those videos as memories of Eli and of the good times we had.”

A moment Hill said she will always remember is when she and Weinstock won the senior superlative “best should’ve been couple” because they were always together.

2019 Bexley graduate Tommy Lee said he had known Weinstock since pre-school. Lee said he would describe Weinstock as “someone who would be happy to be your friend if you didn’t know anyone.’’

“He was just a great friend,” he said. “He was always there for everyone and was always hosting hangouts.”

Raheem Katagum, 2019 Bexley graduate, said he was close with Weinstock all throughout high school.

  “I considered Eli a brother to me because I spent so much time with him,” he said. 

Katagum added that Weinstock always wanted to spend time with him, no matter when or where.

“When he was back from [college], he would want to hang out with me every day,” he said. “I would be at work sometimes, and Eli would come and wait for me to get off just to hang out.” 

Katagum said there are so many funny moments he and Weinstock shared, and if he were to talk about all of them, he’d be “talking for hours.”

Weinstock will definitely be remembered by friends, teachers and the district for his humor and kindness, Butcher said.

“Eli’s one of my favorite people I’ve ever known,” he said. “He is one of those students that when I retire, I will probably remember him forever.”

Harley Carroll
Harley Carroll is a feature editor for The Torch. She is a senior at Bexley High School. Outside of The Torch, she is a captain of the cheerleading competition teams and the vice-president of National Honor Society.