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Press Release – Executive Director Announces Departure

By June 1, 2015No Comments

Austin Youth River Watch Executive Director to move to new position
Search for replacement to begin soon
AUSTIN, TX (September 9, 2015) — Austin Youth River Watch announced today that R. Brent Lyles, who has served as the group’s Executive Director for the past five and a half years, has accepted the role of Executive Director for Colorado River Alliance, effective October 1. The organization’s board of directors is preparing to conduct a search for a new Executive Director and hopes to have the role filled by early 2016.
Austin Youth River Watch provides an after-school program for about 120 local high school students, and many of those who participate are considered at risk for dropping out of school. The students learn about environmental science through water-quality testing, and they are provided a network of support for schoolwork and life readiness. The program also includes environmental restoration projects around Austin, as well as overnight camping trips. Nearly 100% of the seniors who participate in the program graduate from high school, and about a third plan to study or work in a science-related field.
Austin Youth River Watch was founded in 1992, but it was under Lyles’ leadership that the organization began to proactively grow its program participation and make a wider impact. In looking back at his tenure, Lyles said, “We’ve implemented many best practices in our programs and operations, we’ve recruited a strong and engaged Board of Directors, and we’ve greatly expanded our public exposure. As a result, and here’s the important part, we’ve expanded our impact, adding students and programs and deepening our service to the Austin community.”
With regard to the open role for Executive Director that River Watch now seeks to fill, Lyles noted, “My departure opens the door to new opportunities for Austin Youth River Watch as well. New leaders bring new ideas and enthusiasm, and I believe that’s always a good thing. I have deep confidence in the organization; the future is blindingly bright!”
Lyles will join the staff and board at the River Watch annual fundraiser luncheon, known as “Take Me to the River”, which takes place Wednesday, September 23, at Brodie Homestead. Contact Austin Youth River Watch for more info on the fundraiser. 
About Austin Youth River Watch
Austin Youth River Watch is a multi-year, after-school and summer program that combines peer mentoring and environmental education for high school students. The students learn to collect, analyze, and publish water-quality data from Austin-area streams and rivers, and report the data to local and statewide agencies. Guided by a volunteer Board of community leaders, the mission of Austin Youth River Watch is to advance personal and academic achievement through environmental monitoring, education, and adventure.
Stefini Elkins
Download press release here:
Executive Director, Brent Lyles, Steps Down

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