New era of leadership takes reigns at San Antonio ISD

Jaime Aquino addresses SAISD board after he was officially hired as the new superintendent

Jaime Aquino was officially elected as the new Superintendent of Schools at SAISD on Monday.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio ISD’s Board of Trustees voted to officially approve Dr. Jaime Aquino as the new superintendent of schools following a lengthy search to replace former superintendent Pedro Martinez.

Aquino has more than 35 years of working in the field of education. On Monday, he was officially hired as the new Superintendent of Schools at SAISD. He signed a 5-year contract and will make $315,000 annually.

Aquino impressed the board among a large pool of candidates..

His acceptance speech was deeply personal, where he explained why his life experiences helped him connect with students in the San Antonio community.

Aquino spoke about growing up in the impoverished third-world country of the Dominican Republic. His battle with depression led to a suicide attempt, and he also spoke about the suicide of one of his childhood friends.

Aquino said he draws from his own experiences facing racial discrimination.

“The demographic of our students really appealed to me because I believe I am San Antonio. I look like them. My journey in life is very similar to theirs or their parents,” he explained.

Aquino said his priorities would be to make SAISD a destination district, draw in the community’s involvement, and balance the budget. His first official day on Tuesday begins with a six-hour-long budget hearing, followed by a visit to the campuses on Wednesday.

Aquino said his heart belongs in the classroom and never really thought he’d want to be a superintendent.

“The only aspiration or ambition that I have is for a greater purpose, which is making a difference in the life of our kids. So I never thought I was going to be a superintendent,” he said.

Aquino, who says he wants to be called Jaime by students, teachers and staff, was accompanied by his mother, aunt, sister, other family and partner.

You can see his entire acceptance speech below:

Jaime Aquino was officially elected as the new Superintendent of Schools at SAISD on Monday.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.