"STRENGTH THROUGH HUMAN UNDERSTANDING" Eastside's motto, has served as Eastside's focus since 1970 and carried her through many accomplishments in academics, athletics, citizenship, pride and loyalty. Eastside first opened its doors to 650 students in August of 1970. The students came from Wade Hampton, Lincoln, Greer, and J.L. Mann High Schools. Mr. John Durr, Eastside's first principal, welcomed Eastside's first student body and shared his vision of a strong, united, spirited,and comprehensive community high school whose students could realize their goals and reach their full potential.
During its first year, Eastside established school colors of royal blue and gold, chose the eagle as its mascot, decided upon its motto, printed its first school newspaper (The Eagle's Cry), and began its first yearbook (Aurea Aquila). Eastside also formed its chapter of the National Honor Society and began its marching band (without uniforms). By 1973, Eastside's student body had doubled in size; the building had also been enlarged to accommodate this growth. Mr. Eddie Jones became Eastside's second principal at the beginning of the 1973-1974 academic year. In the fall of 1975, Dr. Leonard Pellicer became Eastside's third principal.
By 1977 athletics became the focus for school spirit and pride. The football team, under the direction of John Carlisle, won Eastside's first state championship. Mr. J. Brodie Bricker became Eastside's fourth principal beginning in 1977 and remained in that position longer than any other principal. Mr. Bricker established the slogan "PRIDE OF THE UPCOUNTRY" to designate Eastside's achievements.
The 1980's saw Eastside's student population increase to over 1400. Dr. Alexia Latimer established the first computer lab in the School District of Greenville County. Natural Helpers, a national peer counseling organization, was established as the first in Greenville County as well as in South Carolina. In 1987 Eastside was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's largest car wash (over 1000 cars in a single day.) 1987 also brought Betty Workman as Eastside's first female principal. Mrs. Workman, who had been at Eastside since it's opening, continued the leadership of Eastside with excellence. Dr. Lacy Wilkins began his stewardship at Eastside in the fall of 1988 and initiated students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day. The 1990's witnessed the reconstruction of Eastside's football stadium and also ushered in the concept of Site-Based Management. Eastside's seventh principal, Ken Peake, began his leadership role in 1993. Eastside celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary at the time Mr. Peake was principal. Mr. Dave Quick served as principal between 1995 and 1998 and was followed by Mr. Buddy Blackmon at the beginning of the 1998 school year. Mrs. Sheryl Taylor became the interim principal beginning in August, 2000, and was Eastside's second female principal. She served as principal until 2006. From 2006 until September of 2010, Dr. John Tharp has served as principal. Dr. Tharp has the distinction of being the first principal in the new Eastside High School facility. Eastside's current principal, Mr. Mike Thorne, has replaced Dr. Tharp who was promoted to being superintendent of a school in Tennessee. Mr. Mike Thorne has been in education for over thirty years and is now the principal of Eastside High School's faculty.
Eastside is the fulfillment of a vision, inspired by her leaders -- students, teachers, administrators, parents, and all the supportive citizens of the community -- a team effort that gives special meaning to "Strength Through Human Understanding".