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Former Harlandale Superintendent Will Be San Antonio ISD’s Interim Leader

SAISD Trustee Ed Garza shakes hands with Robert Jaklich to welcome him as the district's interim superintendent.
Camille Phillips
Texas Public Radio
San Antonio ISD Trustee Ed Garza shakes hands with Robert Jaklich after the board voted to appoint him interim superintendent early Tuesday morning.

Retired superintendent Robert Jaklich will lead the San Antonio Independent School District on an interim basis starting Sept. 29.

District trustees appointed him to the position early Tuesday morning after interviewing both internal and external candidates in closed session.

“It was important for us to do a thorough job of making sure we found the right interim to help us over the next six to nine months or longer if it takes,” said board president Christina Martinez, thanking her fellow trustees for a “robust conversation.”

“We were very happy with the decision that we came out tonight with,” she added.

Jaklich previously served as the superintendent of Harlandale ISD from 2008 to 2012 and as superintendent of Victoria ISD from 2012 until his retirement in 2018.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Education News Desk, including Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation and Holly and Alston Beinhorn.

Jaklich said he’s spent the past three years working for superintendent search firm JG Consulting and he decided to apply for SAISD’s interim position because he felt he still has a lot to offer.

092121_CMP_Robert_Jaklich Portrait 2
Camille Phillips
Robert Jaklich will be San Antonio ISD's interim superintendent effective Sept. 29, 2021.

“I'm very excited about the direction that the school district is going in,” Jaklich said. “The power of the school district starts with the leadership from the board of trustees and all the people that are working in the district to make sure our students can have a future of hope and endless possibilities. And (it’s) clearly evident (that’s) what's happening in the school district.”

He said he’s looking forward to working with parents and staff to continue the “tradition of excellence” that has been set forth by the board and outgoing Superintendent Pedro Martinez.

“It's an exciting time to be here. And yes, we do have challenges. But if we have the right people embracing the challenges, that means our students are going to be as successful as possible,” Jaklich said.

When Jaklich left Harlandale in 2012, Julián Castro, who was San Antonio’s mayor at the time, praised Jaklich for doing an excellent job at the district and accused the Harlandale board of driving him out.

Jaklich earned a doctorate in education in 2013 and spent 37 years in education as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent.

“I'm not from San Antonio, but I did go to school here,” Jaklich said. “I graduated with my undergraduate at St. Mary's University. I met a beautiful Texas girl and have been down here ever since.”

SAISD trustees also accepted outgoing superintendent Pedro Martinez’s resignation early Tuesday morning, voting to release him from his contract effective Sept. 28 under an agreement discussed in closed session.

Martinez has been hired to lead Chicago Public Schools.

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