By LaNell Taylor
Some may call it déjà vu, but unfortunately the situation is not rumored but rather it is true. The leadership at Sam Houston High School is changing once again. Last, week an article was published in a local newspaper and much chatter took place via social media that Dr. Mateen Diop, Principal at Sam Houston High School would no longer serve as the school’s principal at the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year. The announcement came as a surprise to some while others applauded the SAISD board’s decision. It is believed that the decision was solidified following the class valedictorian’s graduation speech that vilified the school, Dr. Diop and his administrative team.
Not much has been shared from either party (SAISD nor Dr. Diop); however, SAISD Board of Trustee Alicia Perry did offer the following statement:
“We will have a change in leadership at Sam Houston High School next school year. These changes are always made with students in mind and their best interests at heart. We value the community and will ensure that stakeholder input is considered as we search for a new leader. We will strive hard to ensure that the campus moves in a positive direction. We take the concerns of our students seriously and we want to ensure that they have a successful learning environment. District Administration will review the concerns in an effort to ensure that they are addressed appropriately.”
As an alumna of Sam Houston High School in the San Antonio Independent School District, a former teacher of the school, a parent of a Sam Houston athlete, a tax payer in the District, I personally know that the stability of leadership at Sam Houston H.S. has been on shaky ground for at least almost two decades now. When I taught there from 2001-2006 we had 5 principals (Donald McClure, Joanne Cockrell, John Simpson, Joanne Cockrell again, and Melanie Iglehart – Hammonds) in the five years that I was there and unfortunately that cycle of the forever changing leadership hasn’t changed much since then; therefore, making it a very systemic problem and not good for kids.
Again, not many details have been released as to why this current principal change has occurred, but for many outsiders looking in, we are in an awaken state of looking at the systematic failures of organizations and institutions that have failed Blacks (particularly Black men). I just believe folks need to make sure history isn’t repeating itself. In speaking to other individuals, a former principal, mentor, and friends of mine, it was expressed that if I were to dig deeper I would probably uncover evidence of suppression of Black men in SAISD. Immediately in my mind I reflected back to the likes of Mr. Donald McClure; Mr. Everett Fuller; Mr. Charles James; Mr. Lewis Barr; Mr. John Simpson; Mr. Derrick Cade; Mr. Darnell White; Mr. Stanton Lawrence; and Dr. Mateen Diop and wondered what adversities they may have faced within the system.
To all who have walked in the shoes of educators they know “Teaching Ain’t Easy” and sometimes it is not for everyone. Again, I am not defending nor agreeing with anyone on the matter; however, I know that “Great Leaders” are important, but no one leader should EVER stop a show. If ALL parties (parents, students, community, principals, administrators, board members, stakeholders, etc.) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and are doing their part within an institution, despite the efforts of whomever the principal is, SUCCESS WILL PREVAIL! I’m part of that proof. As I mentioned earlier, I taught at Sam Houston H.S. when we had 5 principals in five years; however, as a campus we were still able to perform and on some occasions even outperform other schools in and out of the District to include areas of academics, athletics, graduating children., etc.
People should also consider that in most school systems today, most principals don’t run campuses like the days of old. Administrators, Vice Principals, Assistant Principals, Academic Deans, Counselors, etc. are the day to day faces we encounter because principals are like CEOs, they are often required to attend meetings and trainings at the District office, on and off campus, in the community, out of the city and state, perform classroom and campus walkthoughs, manage construction, manage budgets, and lets not forget those infamous “other duties as assigned.” I say all that to say that it should not be a surprise that at many campuses individuals are confused as to who is running the campus.
In closing, I’d like to note that when I worked at other schools in SAISD principal turnovers were just as frequent then as they are today, and I never understood how that was good for kids. Much can be said about schools that have or had consistency in leadership. Shouts out to Mr. Charles Muñoz former Principal at Edison H.S. who served for two decades or more; Ms. Raquel Sosa, former Principal, Highland Hills Elementary in the 80s, and two of my current favorite principals Mrs. Natasha Pinnix of M.L. King Academy and Dr. Derrick Thomas of St. Philip’s Early College High School. Much can be said for their leadership and track records.
I challenge all to look at ALL the data in order to make best decisions. And please let the good outweigh the bad.
Golf Tournament to Benefit Victims of Violent Crime
The Grace Seward Foundation will host their first annual Top Golf Tournament on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at Topgolf in San Antonio, Texas. Topgolf is located at 5539 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX. This event begins at 6pm CST and ends at 9pm CST.
The tournament benefits two Bexar County programs: The Victims of Crimes Unit the San Antonio Department and Crime Stoppers. Proceeds from the Topgolf fundraiser will benefit the Crime Stoppers Grace Seward reward fund.
Tickets to attend this event are available at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grace-seward-foundation-golf-benefit-2021-tickets-152912690975
About Grace Seward
Grace Seward graduated Cum Laude from Fox Tech High School in 2011. A scholar and an athlete, while in high school Grace was a district champion in Track, Basketball and Golf. Grace was also a part of the Law and Magnet Program and clerked while in high school with former District Attorney Susan Reed. After graduation, Grace attended San Antonio College and Texas Lutheran University. Grace acquired her Associates Degree in Kinesiology from San Antonio College.
On July 15, 2018, Grace Seward was murdered after pulling into the driveway of a friend’s home. The person responsible for Grace’s murder and the attempted murder of another passenger in the vehicle have never been apprehended.
About The Grace Seward Foundation
The Grace Seward Foundation was created by Butch and Debra Seward, the parents of Grace Seward. The foundations mission is to Spread a Little Grace through their community based initiatives and events and also to support The San Antonio Crime Stoppers and Victims of Crime Unit. Funds raised from the Grace Seward Top Golf Tournament will be applied to the Grace Seward reward fund.
For More Information
For more information about the Grace Seward Foundation please contact
Debra Seward at firstname.lastname@example.org, (210) 860-7439
Lisa Jackson, Public Relations Manager email@example.com, (210) 364-2261
Topgolf at (210) 202-2694
COVID-19 Vaccine Pop-up Clinics
SAN ANTONIO (July 2, 2021) – Toensure everyone who wants to receive a COVID-19 vaccine has access to get one, Metro Health is informing residents on weekly pop-up vaccination clinics. Below is a listing of upcoming pop-up clinic locations for the week of July 3 – July 10.
Please note that clinic dates and times are subject to change. Check the interactive map of COVID-19 pop-up clinics, www.covid19.sanantonio.gov, for the latest updates.
SATURDAY, July 3 – MONDAY, July 5
NO POP-UP CLINICS
TUESDAY, July 6
|SAT Airport Terminal A&B 9800 Airport Blvd 78216 9 am – 8 pm Pfizer||Plaza Guadalupe/ Metro/CCDO/ Avenida 1327 Guadalupe 78207 11 am – 7 pm Pfizer||Second Baptist Church 3310 E. Commerce St 78220 1 – 6 pm Pfizer and J&J|
|Paul Taylor Field House|
7001 Culebra Road 78238 3 – 6 pm Pfizer
WEDNESDAY, July 7
|Blessed Angels Community Center |
14078 Nacogdoches Rd78247 8 am – 12 pm J&J
|SAT Airport Terminal A&B 9800 Airport Blvd 78216 9 am – 8 pm Pfizer||Crossroads Baptist Church 8300 Tezel Rd 78254 10 am – 5 pm Pfizer|
|Second Baptist Church 3310 E Commerce St 78220 1 – 6 pm Pfizer and J&J||Autism Treatment Center 15911 Nacogdoches Rd Building 2 78247 4 – 7 pm Pfizer|
THURSDAY, July 8
|Palo Alto College Student Center Building Classroom SC130 1400 W Villaret Blvd 78224 Noon – 6 pm Pfizer||Second Baptist Church 3310 E Commerce St 78220 1 – 6 pm Pfizer and J&J|
FRIDAY, July 9
|SAT Airport Terminal A&B 9800 Airport Blvd 78216 9 am – 8 pm Pfizer||Raindrop Cultural Center 4337 Vance Jackson Rd Ste #203 78230 10 am – 6 pm Pfizer||Oak Farms Dairy 1314 Fredericksburg Rd78201 10 am – 6 pm Pfizer|
|Mirabella Senior Apartments 1955 Bandera Rd 78228 11 am – 1 pm Pfizer||Presentation Ministry Center (collaboration with Health Collaborative 2003 Ruiz St 78207 3 – 7 pm Pfizer and J&J||IDEA Brackenridge 5555 Old Pearsall Rd 78242 3 – 6 pm Pfizer|
SATURDAY, July 10
|AT&T Center 1 AT&T Center Parkway78219 8 am – 1 pm Pfizer||SAT Airport Terminal A&B 9800 Airport Blvd 78216 9 am – 8 pm Pfizer||San Antonio Preparatory Community School 6127 Summer Fest Dr 78244 10 am – 1 pm Pfizer|
|Restore Adult Education|
George Gervin Academy 4205 San Pedro Ave 78212 10 am – 1 pm Pfizer and J&J
|City Church 9431 Bandera Rd 78250 10 am – 4 pm Pfizer||Avalanche of Love Community Outreach 6812 Bandera Rd 78238 10 am – 2 pm Pfizer|
|Esperanza at Palo Alto Apt 12305 SW Loop 410 78224 11 am – 2 pm Pfizer and J&J|
On-going Mass Vaccination Site:
- Alamodome, 100 Montana St, Parking Lot B
Wednesday – Friday, Noon – 8 p.m.
For an interactive map of upcoming COVID-19 pop-up clinics, visit www.covid19.sanantonio.gov.
Get In the Mix
The world is back open for business and it’s time for all to get back to the grind. Maybe you’re looking to start a new career, get some fresh ideas, find some partners, boost your own business, or just want to meet some great people, The Mix: Business Culture is the perfect opportunity to get out of the house or office. Saturday, July 10th Blackbook Studios is hosting a mixer featuring several business owner’s, author’s, financial specialists, vendors, and entrepreneurs. It’s a great time to network with businesses that survived the pandemic, are braving new start-ups, and those who’ve been in business for some time. There will be a live Dj, food, business showcases, and presenters in the building to offer best practices and more. Goodie bags and an opportunity to win some prizes is also available.
The cost is just $10. Tickets may be purchased online via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mixx-business-culture-tickets-157444742463?aff=ebdssbdestsearch or at the door. For more information or to reserve a vendor space call (210) 226-1939.