Board Appreciation 2014

School Board Recognition Month


January is national School Board Recognition Month, a time to recognize school trustees across the country for all their hard work and dedication.

SAISD has seven single-member districts, each represented by a Trustee. Together, the seven members serve as the District's policy-making body and represent administrators, school staff, students, parents and the community -- a job that they do voluntarily without pay. The Trustees spend countless hours reviewing information, attending meetings, participating in district-related events and attending training to help them grow in their role as District leaders.

Our SAISD Trustees deserve thanks all year long, but January is designated as their special month. Join SAISD in celebrating the hard work of our school Board!

Check out the bios of our Trustees below.

Thank you Trustees for your service to SAISD!

Ed Garza

President - District 7

Edward D. Garza attended the University of Texas at Austin, studying Business Administration for two years before transferring to Texas A&M University where he earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning (1992) and a Master of Science in Land and Real Estate Development (1994).  In 2004 Garza was given the Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. 

Garza is an independent consultant specializing in urban planning, public policy, real estate development and investment.  Prior to his current role, Garza held leadership positions for local and global planning, design, and management firms. In his professional role, Garza has brought vision and strategic planning to downtowns, master planned communities, urban villages, waterfronts, deserts, neighborhoods and transportation networks in places around the world.  Garza has also held adjunct professor positions at the University of Texas at San Antonio and St. Mary’s University.

Garza has served on numerous corporate and governing boards including the Texas A&M University Foundation, San Antonio chapter of American Institute of Architects, San Antonio Historic Design and Review Board, CPS Energy, San Antonio Water Systems, City South Management Authority, National League of Cities, Fannie Mae Advisory Board, NALEO, and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

Garza served eight years as a municipal elected official. In 2001 at the age of 32, Garza became San Antonio’s youngest mayor in the city’s history. He served the maximum, two terms as Mayor of San Antonio and prior to that served two terms as a City Council representative.  Garza was elected in an unprecedented fashion by garnering a cross-section of political, geographic and socio-economic support; based on his platform of sustainable economic growth, modernization of the city’s governance structure and balance sustainable growth for the city’s under-invested southern sector.

The hallmark of Garza’s administration for economic development and balanced growth was the successful partnership with the state of Texas, in luring Toyota to invest over a billion dollars in a new manufacturing facility in south San Antonio. The combination of Toyota’s (5,000 plus) high paying jobs and a new Texas A&M University campus have become the economic drivers in Garza’s urban regeneration vision for San Antonio’s long neglected southern sector, today known as City South. 

In 2009, Garza was once again elected by voters to serve on the San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees.  Garza ran on a vision to rebuild an aging urban school district based on high academic achievement, “back to basics” discipline/core values, and leadership/character development; with the vision to transform SAISD into a national model urban school district by 2020. 

Garza has received numerous awards and citations.  He has been featured in the New York Time’s, Wall Street Journal, Texas Monthly, Urban Land Magazine, and CNN and listed in Hispanic Business magazine as a “most influential” Hispanic leader.  Garza has testified before Congress and given presentations and key note speeches to groups including the National Security Agency, U.S. Embassy’s International Initiative (Argentina, China and Mexico), International Rotary, Urban Land Institute, and American Institute of Architects, National League of Cities, International Downtown Association, and International Council of Shopping Centers.

Garza is married to Anna Laura and both are members of St. Paul Catholic Church.  The Garza’s are active members in the Jefferson - Woodlawn Lake neighborhood and have devoted time and resources to various non-profile organizations including the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, San Antonio Children’s Shelter and Urban Youth Soccer Academy of San Antonio.

Olga Hernandez

Vice President, District 6

Mrs. Hernandez was elected to the Board in May 2006 and proudly represents the people of the Thomas Edison Cluster.   She is a life-long SAISD resident, a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and an SAISD retiree. She holds an Honorary Life Membership of the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers Association.  Mrs. Hernandez, her husband, and two daughters are all proud products of SAISD. Her term expires in 2015.


Arthur V. Valdez Jr.

Arthur V Valdez_web2013
Secretary – District 4

Mr. Valdez was elected to the Board on May 2013 for a four year term. He is a life-long resident of SAISD District 4. He and his wife of 45 years as well as his three children are all graduates of Burbank High School. His two grandchildren currently attend Collins Garden elementary. Mr. Valdez is employed as an Aircraft Systems Engineer whose career has spanned more than 40 years in both civil and U.S. Air Force military aircraft. He credits the technical and vocational training he received at SAISD Burbank High School that helped pave the way for his career. Mr. Valdez’s current term expires in 2017.


James Howard

Asst. Secretary - District 2

Mr. Howard was elected to the Board in May 1998 and re-elected in 2002 and 2006. He is an employee relations specialist for the Texas American Federation of Teachers and a member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of School Boards. He is a product of SAISD and an alumnus of Prairie View A&M University where he majored in music education. He has two children both SAISD graduates. Mr. Howard was elected President of the Board by his peers in May 2008 serving as the first African American chairman in the history of SAISD. His current term expires in 2015.


Patti Radle

Trustee - District 5

Mrs. Radle was elected to the San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees in May of 2011.  She is a graduate of Marquette University with a major in Theology.  She obtained her teacher and bilingual certification and a second major in English from Our Lady of the Lake University.  She was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Theology from the Oblate School of Theology.  She taught elementary in SAISD for 12 years and taught high school and middle school in other school systems.  She served on the San Antonio City Council from 2003-2007. Ms. Radle has also served, with her husband, as the Volunteer Director of Inner City Development since 1972.  Her current term expires in 2015.

Debra Guerrero


Trustee - District 3

Ms. Guerrero was selected by the Board on February 20, 2012 to serve an unexpired term.  She is a fifth generation SAISD resident. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from St. Mary's University, a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law.  Ms. Guerrero previously served two terms on the City Council from 1997 to 2001.  Ms. Guerrero is employed as a local multifamily residential developer and continues to participate in neighborhood and community organizations throughout the City. Ms. Guerrero's current term expires in 2017.

Steve Lecholop

Steve Lecholop_web2013
Trustee- District 1

Mr. Lecholop was elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2013.  He is currently employed as an attorney at Rosenthal Pauerstein Sandoloski Agather LLP, where his practice focuses on corporate litigation and corporate bankruptcy.  Mr. Lecholop is a former teacher and a Teach for America alumnus.  He earned a B.B.A. in Finance from the Business Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in Teaching from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.  Mr. Lecholop's current term expires in 2017.