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SAISD Board President and Superintendent honored as Education Champions

Oct. 20, 2020 – San Antonio ISD’s top leadership was recognized today as significant contributors to San Antonio’s education landscape. Board President Patti Radle and Superintendent Pedro Martinez were announced as joint recipients of the San Antonio Education Champion Award during the fifth annual San Antonio Regional Public PK-12 Virtual Education Forum hosted by San Antonio Report. 

Radle and Martinez were noted for accountable board governance and their visionary leadership over the past five years to bring innovation and expand options to parents within SAISD.

“All observers of well-run organizations recognize the value of transformative and strong leadership at the top,” said award committee member Henry Gonzalez, an attorney with the law firm Gonzalez Chiscano Angulo & Kasson, PC. “Mr. Martinez and Mrs. Radle have used best practices, excellent judgment, honesty and courage to address the problems that have long plagued SAISD.”

“It is no longer uncommon to see students from outside of the district attend SAISD schools,” Gonzalez continued. “SAISD’s efforts over the last five years have not only benefited the students living within the SAISD district lines, these efforts have caused other local schools to improve their programs.”

Radle, a former teacher and city councilwoman, was elected to the SAISD Board of Trustees in 2011. She has also served, with her husband, as the volunteer director of Inner City Development since 1972. 

Martinez joined San Antonio ISD as superintendent in June 2015, bringing to the District a laser-like focus on improving academic achievement. In January 2016, he unveiled a five-year plan with 10 academic goals. By the District’s 2019 accountability ratings from the Texas Education Agency, SAISD received an overall grade of B.  

“Less than six years ago, who would have thought that every San Antonio inner-city child would have the academic opportunities they now have. By every metric, the San Antonio Independent School District is vastly improved from where it was then,” said community advocate Deborah Amini, another award committee member. “While the staff of the District deserve high praise, this exceptional improvement started at the top.”


In accepting the honor, both Radle and Martinez acknowledged the District’s Trustees and staff who collectively made SAISD’s transformation possible. 

“So many people were involved in getting us where we are today,” Radle said, as she listed off the Trustee’s names.

“Mrs. Radle and I have talked about this – we’ve never been alone. Between our Board, our leadership team and our partners – we have an amazing team and a lot of talent. What brings us all together is passion for children,” said Martinez. “We are changing the landscape of what it means to serve children who live in poverty. We are changing what it means to serve children of color. This is who we are today.”

Under their leadership, the District has seen improved graduation and college-going rates, as well as expanded access to rigor. Innovative schools have been developed and launched providing new models of education. In addition, strong academic programs in existing schools have been expanded to provide high-quality choice for families.

Today, SAISD offers a wide variety of programs, including dual-language, career exploration and college-preparation. Along with traditional school models, the District also offers academies comprising non-traditional grade ranges such as PK-8.

Additionally, SAISD offers the city’s only public Montessori schools, single-gender campuses, and K-12 International Baccalaureate framework. In 2019, the District launched the city’s first Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. This year, SAISD has two P-TECH programs, with three more on the way for next school year.


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