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State of the District 2018

State of the District 2018

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    SAISD Board Chair Patti Radle and SAISD Foundation Board Chair Manny Ruiz attend the 2018 SAISD State of the District address at the Pearl Stable.
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    President and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Ramiro Cavazos welcomes business leaders to the State of the District address.
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    SAISD Foundation Board Chair Manny Ruiz delivers the invocation.
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    Twain Dual Language Academy students led the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge in Spanish and English at the 2018 SAISD State of the District address.
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    Superintendent Pedro Martinez delivers his third State of the District address, communicating the challenges SAISD faces and the progress it is making.
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    It is a full house for the 2018 SAISD State of the District address, with more than 400 individuals in attendance.
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    Seniors from each high school who have received college acceptances to Tier One and prestigious liberal arts colleges were present at the SAISD State of the District address to represent the Class of 2018.
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    Business leaders actively participated in the Question & Answer session, learning more about SAISD and the progress the District is making.
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    SAISD Trustees Art Valdez, Christina Martinez, Steve Lecholop, Ed Garza, Patti Radle and James Howard attend the 2018 SAISD State of the District address at the Pearl Stable.
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    Travis Early College High School students were on hand at the 2018 State of the District address to greet guests as they arrived. Travis was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School.
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    The State of the District address was hosted by the San Antonio and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. Pictured are President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Richard Perez, SAISD Foundation Executive Director Judy Geelhoed, SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez, SAISD Board Chair Patti Radle and President and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Ramiro Cavazos.

On Feb. 16, 2018, in the historic Pearl Stable, San Antonio ISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez compelled a crowd of more than 300 business, education and government leaders to stand together as a community and support San Antonio’s children during his 2018 State of the District address.

“We are in the initial stages of a transformation in our district,” he said. “We are setting this goal of becoming a modern urban school district, and we are obsessed with making sure our children are prepared for the best options possible for their future. If we work with our community, if we work with the parents, it is amazing what our children will show us.”

The event, co-hosted by the SAISD Foundation, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, marked Martinez’s third time on stage as he celebrated the District’s accomplishments and addressed the issues the District faces as an urban-serving institution.   

“He (Martinez) has brought a laser-focus on improving our academic achievement and inspiring our graduates to greater heights,” said Ramiro Cavazos, president and chief executive officer of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Martinez didn’t shy away from talking about the challenges facing the District and its students, showing slides highlighting the issues, socioeconomic and otherwise, that SAISD students face. 

After exploring a number of these data points, Martinez took time to celebrate success stories from around the District. He highlighted a variety of programs including innovative school choices like the CAST Tech, Advanced Learning Academy, and Steele Montessori.

Twain Dual Language Academy ― the District’s first 100 percent dual language school ― was also highlighted when nine academy students showed off their language skills as they presented the Pledge of Allegiance in both English and Spanish before Martinez took the stage.

Also in the audience were seniors representing each of the District’s 11 high schools. All of the seniors in attendance have been accepted to Tier One colleges across the nation, and five of them have received full scholarships that will cover the cost of their post-secondary education.

“It was wonderful to be able to come together with one of our partners and be able to hear the progress our students and the District are making,” said Cindy Alvarado, director of field management at Communities and Schools. “It’s a refreshing opportunity to see the big picture and the impact that is taking place at the District level.”

Another key partnership that Martinez mentioned was the recent five-year, $8.4 million grant from Valero Energy Foundation (VEF), the philanthropic arm of Valero Energy Corporation. The award is currently funding the District’s “Pipeline for College Success” program, a one-of-a-kind initiative in San Antonio and first for the state of Texas focused on increasing the number of students who enroll in and complete college. Martinez said that with the help of the grant, the District is now able to track students through college, starting with the class of 2018.

“We will know how our students are doing after the first year of college, the second, and all the way through graduation,” he said.

In addition to giving the District the ability to track students, the grant enables SAISD to triple the number of students who are able to go on college tours as well as provide for two new College Bound Advisors at all seven comprehensive high schools to increase the focus on college readiness.

And just as Martinez began his address with the appeal to work together for San Antonio’s students, Martinez closed with a similar request.

“It is not fair to tell a child based for no other reason for being born into that family, that community, that income situation, that this is your probability of graduating from college,” he said. “We have amazing things happening in our city, but as we look at what is happening, the growth, the potential, can we learn from the past. That is where I need your help.”

“I am asking you two big things – stay with us,” Martinez continued. “This work is long-term, and it is going to take time. Today, I am showing you the direction we are going. I am showing you what our children are capable of. We want to work with you, and I need your support as this city evolves and grows. We need to learn from the past so that we don’t continue to have what we have, such a segregated city. We are facing many challenges, and all I ask is give our children a shot.” 

Ramiro Salazar, director of the San Antonio Library System, said that hearing Martinez speak inspired him.

“Being a public library system, we know that education is key,” said Salazar. “In so many ways what the libraries do is advance education by promoting literacy and reading, and making resources and programs accessible to students and people of all ages to broaden in their minds and enlighten them. We believe we are a key partner with SAISD and I am inspired and excited ― we have a lot of work to do together.”

“If we work with our community, if we work with the parents, it is amazing what our children will show us.”

― Superintendent Pedro Martinez