In 2010, nearly 6,000 people came together to envision a stronger San Antonio where students are provided a quality education no matter where they live and San Antonians are deeply engaged in selfless service to the community. Soon after, in 2012, Leadership SAISD (LSAISD), the nonprofit organization dedicated to inform, empower and inspire community members to become advocates and thought leaders around education aware of the challenges and opportunities facing local school communities, was founded. As an SA2020 Nonprofit Partner, LSAISD joins more than 170 multi-sector organizations that have formally aligned their outcomes to Community Results.
LSAISD provides the only free education-focused leadership development program in Bexar County. The nonprofit convenes folks across San Antonio passionate about students’ outcomes and well-being to understand the history of education, the current challenges and opportunities, and history’s impact on local school communities today. (When SA2020 launched the we>me t-shirt I knew I had to get it! LSAISD fosters this “we” culture.)
As a former classroom teacher (forever educator) and nonprofit leader, it is organizations like Leadership SAISD that give me hope as I reflect on the importance of creating and fostering powerful collaborative learning environments in which folks can identify how they can engage with the community within their spheres of influence and ultimately use this influence to lead change.
LSAISD Alums engage in their local school communities by serving on a number of leadership roles including but not limited to school boards, non-profit boards, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), site-based decision-making committees, task forces, and volunteer positions. The LSAISD Alumni Network is now 301 graduates strong and includes: 5 appointees to SAISD 2020 Blue Ribbon Task Force, 8 education nonprofit executive directors, 1 state board of education representative, over 100 education organization leaders, over 20 education nonprofit board of directors, 3 current school board members, and 1 former city council member.
Programs such as this lead to increased numbers of San Antonians—reflective of the community they serve—represented in leadership roles in education, increasing the likelihood of policies and programs meeting the needs of the communities they serve. Seventy-three percent of the LSAISD Alumni Network is made up of Latino San Antonians and Black San Antonians.
In 2020, San Antonians again reaffirmed the importance of education to the shared Community Vision. San Antonio envisions investment in all students by 2030 providing the best education in the nation and lifelong learning opportunities that cultivate critical thinkers and problem-solvers who proudly call San Antonio their home. Leadership SAISD shares responsibility for strengthening education for all students in San Antonio.