Brackenridge High School Burbank High School Edison High School Fox Tech High School Highlands High School Sam Houston High School Jefferson High School Lanier High School Advanced Learning Academy St. Phillips Early College High School Travis Early College High School Young Women's Leadership Academy Phyllis Wheatley

Burbank Educators Receive Six Innovative Grants

Six educators from Burbank High School, SAISD were awarded Innovative Teacher Grants from the SAISD Foundation last week. From carpentry and sewing skills to a science expo and a digital recording station, these innovative educators are doing it all and we are happy to help make it happen!

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Lanier’s Golden Era of Basketball

Sixty years before the Spurs won their first NBA championship, a scrappy young squad of Mexican American ballers was making history of its own in San Antonio’s Westside barrios. From 1939 to 1945 Lanier High School won two state basketball titles, finishing second once and third twice, along the way combating negative perceptions of knife-wielding Tejanos that were prevalent during the segregated WWII era. Lanier’s dynastic run started with a literal bang, as fist met face when the team won their initial championship in San Antonio.

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Lanier Alumni Supporting Jefferson Seniors

San Antonio chef Edward Villarreal will celebrate Thomas Jefferson High School's class of 2021 this Wednesday with a free pop-up parking lot party at Jefferson Bodega, located five minutes from campus. The food is free to graduating seniors who show school ID, but family members and other well-wishers will need to pay $5 per item.

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Vote for Edison in the Vans Culture Contest!

Edison High School needs your help! Current student Rogelio Zamarripa Jr. created a custom pair of Vans shoes based on the theme "Hometown Pride" and entered them into the Vans Custom Culture High School contest. His shoes have made it into the next round and the winning school will receive $50,000!! 

Voting is easy! You just need an email address and you can vote every day until May 7. CLICK HERE and vote for Rogelio's shoe design. 

Lanier Alumnus Lionel Sosa's Vivid Portraits Capture Stories of Black Men in San Antonio

By Dr. Ricardo Romo, Fox Tech class of '62. This article was originally published on Dr. Romo's blog.

Lionel Sosa, Lanier class of '57, has been painting almost non-stop since  last summer when he decided he would join others who wanted to see racial justice a reality.   A retired CEO of a highly successful Hispanic marketing firm, Sosa has been painting portraits, mostly of ordinary people, cowboys, blue-collar workers, entertainers, and such,  for  much of the past ten years.   

Sosa  assumed a new artistic  purpose in June of 2020, when he came upon a poster that stated: “You can’t be anti-racist, unless you’re actively anti-racist.”  At that moment, Sosa decided to paint a representation of Black men and boys from the San Antonio community with the aim of giving “better understanding of each other as a community.” 

San Antonio Artist Lionel Sosa with one of his 33 portraits: “Living in My Skin” project.

Sosa’s  artistic project, “Living in My Skin-Black Men in  San Antonio Tell Their Story”  will be featured on PBS station KRLN in February 2021 during Black History Month. His 33 subjects, whom he has painted in oil-on linen, range in age from 10 to 90 and include ordinary Black citizens, retired military officers, and a Chief of San Antonio’s Fire Department.  They came to his studio wearing a favorite cap or hat, a special tie or bow tie, or  a formal suit or colorful T-shirt.  In each portrait, he brilliantly captures a particular look, a mood, an emotion, a curiosity, an air of confidence.  

The need for greater understanding of one another in San Antonio and elsewhere in America seemed to resonate with many, Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians in the aftermath of  the horrific murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in May 2020.  Millions, spurred by the viewing of a nine minute  video of Floyd’s senseless choking,  marched in every city of America, as well as in major cities of Western Europe. The marchers represented all races and ethnicities and  many held handmade placards  calling for racial justice and an end to police killings.  Demonstrators in some Western cities, such Portland, Oregon, were largely white, including many from the suburbs. 

Robert Melvin II, 10 year-old student at Keystone School. “San Antonian through and through”

The marches were not a surprise to many Black writers and social critics.  he talented and astute observer of Black America, Ta-Nehisi Coates, noted to a Princeton audience:  “There’s a way in which certain people take too much comfort in progress...For instance, we can have progress for the rest of American history and black people could still be unequal.”

The majority of the demonstrations were peaceful, although some turned violent.  While the Constitution gives every American a right to demonstrate and voice grievances, that right was denied to peaceful demonstrators one afternoon in Lafayette Park in Washington D.C. on  June 1, 2020.  Their peaceful protest turned violent  when a score of “federal agents” turned a calm event into one of chaos.  Men and women, young and old, and mothers with young children were chased off the park with pepper spray  in order to give President Donald Trump his public space across the street for a promotion photo op.

Lionel Sosa portrait. “Black Men in San Antonio tell their stories.” 

All of Sosa’s  “Living in My Skin” subjects are residents of San Antonio, many native to the city, as is Sosa. The Eastside, where the majority of the city’s Black population had traditionally lived, was also home for a time to Sosa’s immigrant grandmother, Cristina Sosa. She emigrated from Mexico in the mid-1920s when the country was saddled with violence and political turmoil following the twilight  years of the Mexican Revolution.  Her son Roberto, Lionel’s dad, helped his mother make ends meet by taking in laundry for the neighbors.   

In the mid 1930s, the Sosa family moved to the Westside of San Antonio, a place where Cristina Sosa earned extra money as a midwife. Her son Roberto continued in the laundry business and opened his  business on Commerce Street in the heart of the  Prospect Hill commercial sector. Lionel Sosa and his brother Robert were born in the back family section of the laundry. Lionel is a proud graduate of Lanier High School and remains active with the alumni group. He  is a generous donor to their scholarship programs. 

Lionel Sosa portrait. “Black Men in San Antonio tell their stories.”

Today, Lionel and his wife Kathy, also an accomplished artist and author, spend their time in their studio on Lavaca street in  San Antonio’s Southtown. Together they worked on the publication of “The Children of the Revolution: How the Mexican Revolution Changed America” [2012] More recently, Kathy Sosa has published with Trinity Press,  “Revolutionary Women”  which she  describes as a celebration of  “the women of early Texas and Mexico who refused to walk a traditional path.”  

The Sosas both love to paint and write.  Their path reminds us all of Ta-Nehisi Coates' words .“Doing what you love will lead to change,” adding that  in seeking change, “ultimately, the answer is within you.”


Read alumni updates here and submit your own!

Join SAISD for free or at a Giving Level to support students and teachers in San Antonio ISD.

We need YOU! Volunteer Opportunities to Give Back to Students in SAISD

Even though we are still in the midst of a pandemic, the needs of students have not gone. That's why YOU, our volunteers, are more important now than ever. Currently, there are three active volunteer opportunities available through SAISD Nation (a program of the SAISD Foundation) and one that will begin later this spring. We hope that one or more of these opportunities will fit your time, talent and desire! Click here to join our SAISD Nation volunteers group on Facebook!

1) Book Buddies Book Sorting

Thanks to our new facility, graciously donated to us by Port San Antonio, Book Buddies is off to a bright start this school year. On Saturdays volunteers sort books donated by Better World Books and Literati and carefully box them up for delivery to schools all throughout San Antonio ISD.  To ensure safety, masks are required and social distancing is enforced (each family/ small group has their own table/ sorting station). 
This school year, over 35 schools are slated to receive free books, enabling k-8 students to start and build their own home libraries. We still have spaces for this Saturday from 10 am - noon- sign up for this or any future Saturday sorting date  AT THIS LINK. Thanks to our amazing volunteers, students at 9 schools have already received books. Over 25 other schools are patiently waiting for their books, and we can only meet their need with the help of volunteers like you.

2) Playground Stenciling

In a COVID and post-COVID environment, our outdoor spaces are more critical than ever. By participating in this painting activity you will help to beautify an SAISD school and activate more outdoor learning spaces. This activity is appropriate for adults and children ages 10 and up. On paint day we ask that you bring a mask, refillable water bottle and sun protection and wear clothes that you do not mind getting messy. We will provide paint, materials, hand sanitizer, and day-of instructions! Click here to sign up and pick your preferred school and date!

3) Virtual Career Day Speakers

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no volunteers are being allowed on SAISD campuses during regular school hours while students are present. As a result, many events that were previously held in person are now being held virtually. 

Dorie Miller Elementary, located on San Antonio's East Side, has requested a total of 10 career day speakers to pre-record a video that:

  • Introduces professional's background/ education and career journey
  • Explains what it's like to be in their chosen career (think day in the life)
  • Incorporates visuals 

Speakers would then log into a live Zoom on May 28 for half an hour to interact with the students who watched their video and answer questions. These videos will also be offered to other SAISD campuses looking to provide virtual career day experiences to pre-5th grade students, ensuring that students across the district are exposed to a wide range of exciting career opportunities! We need videos in Spanish as well for our English Language Learners and dual language classrooms. 

Here is a great example of the type of videos that are appropriate for students in this age range.

If you would like to be a virtual career day speaker, please email Alumni Engagement and Volunteer manager Cristina Noriega at [email protected] 

4) Remote Mentors to 2021 Grads

This spring we will be pairing a select group of 2021 grads with volunteer mentors who can help ensure they have a smooth transition to college. Our SAISD Nation remote mentor program is a twice a month commitment- we ask that mentors check in with their mentee via email, phone or Zoom. If this is something you would be interested in doing, please let us know by replying to this email.

Thank you for investing in teachers and students in SAISD!

 See all our volunteer opportunities and sign up for those that match your interests on SAISD Nation here.

Join SAISD for free or at a Giving Level to support students and teachers in San Antonio ISD.


Fox Tech H-TECH Offers Direct Pathway to Nursing

San Antonio College announced that it will offer a new program leading to a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing. The first of its kind at Alamo Colleges, the “RN to BSN” program will enable licensed registered nurses with two-year associate degree to complete a course of study resulting in a bachelor’s degree. 

Thanks to this new program, students enrolled in Fox Tech's new H-TECH early college high school program, which offers dual credit to enrolled students, will be able to graduate with an RN and Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. This will prepare them for high-paying careers in the medical industry. When the students turn 18 they are eligible to begin work-based learning in the partner hospitals, Methodist Health Care System and University Health System. As H-TECH students, they receive access to a deep network of experiences, including a guest speaker series that begins their freshman year of high school, and the opportunity to interview with hospital partners for an RN position.

"Our associate of science feeds right into the nursing program, and our students would be granted a seat in the nursing program at SAC" said Fox Tech Principal Jennifer Benavides. "We are so excited and it definitely lends to the original vision of the alumni that created the health magnet in 2010; it takes that vision to a different level now leading to a BSN. We couldn’t be happier to see it unfold with our partnership with SAC, Methodist Health Care System and University Health System."

"One of the biggest takeaways for H-TECH is that it addresses the enormous deficit in the healthcare and nursing fields" said E. Lynn Hernandez, H-TECH Coordinator. "We were in a nationwide nursing shortage prior to the global COVID19 pandemic; this programming is more timely and relevant now more than ever. We are teaching students to become healthcare workers-from academics, to professionalism and compassion, empathy, and ethics. Our students will leave here well prepared for medical careers."
Lanier alumna Rose Castro is proud that Tech's legacy of leadership in the medical field will continue through this program.  "I also was an educator for 38 years in the district. 15 years were spent at Fox Tech with the SAISD-UTHSCSA Biomedical Program. This cooperative program was a model for magnet schools that followed. This program produced physicians, attorneys, PhDs and teachers. I'm proud to see this legacy continue!"
Victoria Cuellar Avila, who graduated from Fox Tech in 1950 worked for the Baptist Healthcare System for 45 years. After 20 years as an LVN, she went back to school to complete her 4-year degree and become an RN. Today's H-TECH grads will be able to get their full RN degree in a seamless transition from high school.

Fox Tech is part of the Alamo Collegiate Network, one of three Early College High Schools in SAISD operating in an 1882 in-district charter

Learn more about H-TECH at Fox Tech here, and sign up for a live info session!

Win a Camaro, Support Student Scholarships

By A J Martinez
As you may know, my son Cliff was killed last year, 4 days before Christmas Day. 
To honor my son, I've donated my 2010 Camaro RS to be raffled, with all proceeds going to the San Antonio Independent School District Foundation. All monies will be deposited into the "Detective Cliff J Martinez Memorial Scholarship Fund"
Image of raffle ticket Camaro Cliff Martinez

This Scholarship Fund was established right after his death. It's to help high school students in the Police Explorers curriculum, that want to further their education with a college degree in the field of law enforcement.  Whether it be in local Police, FBI, Forensics or any other enforcement position. I feel that Cliff would like this since he was a Police Explorer while in school.
Now about the 2010 Camaro RS. It's Aqua Blue Metallic, has about 70,000 miles on it, mostly highway miles.  V6, 3.6 Liter, Automatic trans with 6 speed throttle shift, Leather gray seats, Cruise Control, Remote start and Keyless Entry, Power Windows, Power Drivers Seat. This is a fully loaded car.
Raffle will be February 21, 2021. It is raffled as is. You will be responsible for pick up in San Antonio ,Texas. You will also be responsible for tax, title and license fees. You need not be present to win. 

How to Purchase Raffle Tickets:

Contact A J Martinez at [email protected] and give me a count of how many tickets you would like to purchase. They are $25.00 each and only a limited amount have been printed.
Make check or money order to SAISD Foundation. In your memo write " Det. Cliff Scholarship Fund".

About the Detective Cliff Martinez Memorial Scholarship:  

The Detective Cliff Martinez Memorial Scholarship has been established to support SAISD students in Police Explorer programs (in a SAISD High School) with plans to pursue a career as a police officer. This scholarship serves as a tribute to the work and life of SAISD Police Officer Cliff Martinez who served with the SAISD Police Department for 28 years. Cliff was also a proud SAISD graduate of Highlands High School. To contribute to this scholarship fund, click here and note Cliff Martinez Scholarship in the comments box. Donations can also be mailed to SAISD Foundation, 2411 San Pedro, San Antonio 78212.

Student Eligibility: Active in a Police Explorers Program at an SAISD high school, interest in law enforcement, 2.5 GPA, commitment to family and community.


Want to Support Students and Teachers in SAISD? By Joining SAISD at a Giving Level, your monetary investment supports teacher grants, student scholarships and emergency gap funding, college tours, field trips, books distributions and more. As a giving level member, you also get lots of perks, from swag to invitations to exclusive events. Thank you for your support! We could not do this without our alumni familia.          


Burbank HS Getting Major Revamp

Reposted from

Burbank construction

If you are driving from I-35 on Highway 90 on the near south side of the city, it is hard to miss the giant construction site that will be home to the new Luther Burbank High School. 

The project is massive. The new 250,000 square foot campus is situated on the southeast corner of the interchange facing Highway 90. The new campus will replace the existing 1960s-era structure, which is situated directly behind the new building.  

Principal Irene Talamantes noted that saving Burbank’s history was important for everyone throughout the process. 
“Murals, colors, and themes were preserved and will be displayed throughout the design of the new building,” she said. “The artist that created the murals in our present cafeteria was consulted regarding how to best represent his work for the enjoyment of future students, staff and visitors.” 

“This new building ties our legacy together with the original building from 1937 to the present and will be more than capable of meeting our requirements for the future and for the staff and students that come after us. As we get closer to moving into the new building, the excitement surrounding it will grow even stronger,” Talamantes said. 

Paul Lindsey is the senior project manager from the construction company Morganti Texas who says the new Burbank High School structure will be as iconic as the original one has been in the community for more than 90 years. 

“Overwhelmingly they are super excited about it,” he said of families that have expressed their enthusiasm over the project. “They can’t wait to see the end result. And they deserve it. This will put them all in one building where they (the students) are centrally located.” 

Currently, the last portion of the building is being built. Crews will then close the exterior shell and begin work on the interior by the first of the new year. The project is being built in four phases. The cafeteria and kitchen are going up first, followed by the science labs and classrooms. The next section is for general classrooms, and finally the main entrance and administrative offices. 

Unlike most of the Bond 2016 projects, which consists of 13 campuses for a total of $450 million, the construction of the main building at Burbank is happening from the ground up, without having to work around teachers, students and staff. Since it’s a brand new building, the day-to-day operations of the high school are going on uninterrupted in the current structure.

“This is the ideal way to do it,” Lindsey said. “Typically, we’re coming in and having to phase an existing building, and they’re having class in the same building we’re working in.”

The design of Burbank, by architecture firm Garza Bomberger & Associates, incorporates a future-ready plan outlined by San Antonio ISD’s Master Plan 2030. 

Kamal ElHabr, associate superintendent for construction and development services, said the work being completed by this and other Bond 2016 projects, will carry the District forward. 

“We have implemented several new educational features into the design of the new Burbank facilities including flexible spaces, common areas, connectivity everywhere, sustainable environment, and mobile furniture,” he said. “This trend will continue as we update our educational specifications with input from the campuses and District to be used in future projects.” 

Lindsey is proud that the Burbank project is leading the way. 

“Burbank High School is going to be a prototype, something the District will look to for future types of high school construction processes,” he said. “We’re building something that will be there for a long time and that the District will try to replicate in future buildings.” 

Students will be able to learn in their new building by the time school starts for the 2021-22 school year. The project will then move into demolition mode as the old academic building is torn down. The current auditorium and athletic fields will then undergo renovations and additions, leaving the overall work at Burbank High School to be completed in 2022. 

Never miss the SAISD news that matters to you. Join SAISD Nation today and reconnect with classmates, sign up to volunteer, or choose to support students and teachers by joining at a Giving Level of $25 or more.

Help Us Honor Educators - October 5 is World Teachers' Day!

World Teachers' Day is October 5th
We are excited to be a part of celebrating one of our greatest assets – our teachers. On October 5th, the SAISD Foundation will be award additional innovative grants and holding the first of our New Teacher Grant Award Virtual Ceremonies welcoming our newest teachers to the SAISD family. You can get involved too!

Teachers, share your story.

Using the hashtag #TeachersCan, upload and share a video to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram about why you teach, what you wish others knew about teaching, and how teachers can make a big difference for students. Please tag us at @saisdfoundation and @sanantonioisd so we can re-share your posts on October 5!

Everyone else, thank a teacher.

Alumni, parents, community members - is there a teacher from your past or present who you want to honor for how they changed your life, or someone else’s? Post a video or post on social media using the hashtag #TeachersCan and #ThankATeacher and tag us at @saisdfoundation so we can see and re-share your posts on October 5! Make sure you have set your privacy to "public" so we can share. 

   Visit TeachersCan for ideas on how you can show support, including downloadable printed activity sheets for students and families.

Click on the images and scroll down to go straight to the activities, and use the prompts in the blue box to record a video thanking your favorite teachers, past and present.

Submit your videos and images to us at [email protected] between now and October 4, and we will be sharing throughout the day on the SAISD Foundation social media channels. Or post from your own channels (make sure the privacy is set to "public), tag @saisdfoundation and use the hashtags #TeachersCan and #ThankATeacher and we will share select posts throughout the day on October 5!



Thank you to Burbank alumnus Michael Quintanilla for this touching tribute to his 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Lazaro.
Mrs. Josefina Lazaro, center row, far right, will forever be Michael Quintanilla’s favorite teacher. He has written about her and  presented his story about her dedication, devotion and high standards (twelfth-grade level in some instances) she set for her fourth grade class in journalism workshops across the country, including at Harvard.
Mrs. Josefina Lazaro, my fourth grade teacher at Graebner Elementary School. She later was a counselor at Burbank High School, so in a way, Mrs. Lazaro followed us. When she died in 2007 a group of 10 of us from her fourth grade class attended her funeral service. We all sat together and reminisced about our favorite teacher ever. Her son, Vincent, told us that evening that we were her favorite class ever which is why he reached out to us to let us know that his mother had died. We loved her very much.I wrote a story about that experience and about our teacher. It remains one of my favorite stories. Many years ago I was invited to speak at Harvard about my journalism journey and I included that story. I read it. It was accompanied by a beautiful PowerPoint of images of Mrs. Lazaro and my friends and I when were 10 year children with big ears, funny hair and crooked teeth. When I concluded my presentation, which was about writing and sharing of my work, I remained with the audience for an additional hour talking with them about these stories. I mention this because so many people came up to me to talk about Mrs. Lazaro; they were so touched by her and reminded of their favorite teacher and wanted to share their stories as well.

Click on the image below to download this and other activities!