The San Antonio ISD board of trustees voted May 2 to confirm Jaime Aquino as SAISD’s new superintendent during a special-called meeting.

On April 11, the trustees named Aquino the lone finalist for superintendent, and state law requires a 21-day waiting period before superintendent finalists can officially be hired.

Board President Christina Martinez said in a news release that Aquino has demonstrated he is capable of leading SAISD into the future while helping students and educators continue to recover academically from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aquino replaces Pedro Martinez, who after six years of service departed as SAISD superintendent last fall to lead Chicago Public Schools.

“He was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and is deeply committed to ensuring that all children have access to an excellent education. Having begun his career as a bilingual teacher over 30 years ago in Queens, New York, he has deep experience as a leader in diverse, urban school districts and a record of achieving academic success with children just like ours,” Martinez said of Aquino.

Martinez said Aquino has successful by staying closely connected to the classroom and working collaboratively with educators and administrators at every level of a school system.

“Dr. Aquino also brings with him a deep appreciation for our multicultural community and the importance of building close relationships with families. We have been looking forward to tonight’s meeting to officially welcome Dr. Aquino as our new leader,” Martinez said.

According to a news release, aside from Aquino’s experience as a bilingual teacher and administrator in New York, his experience includes serving in leadership roles in school districts in Los Angeles; Denver; and Hartford, Connecticut. He most recently was a senior vice president at the company Discovery Education, where he oversaw efforts to supporting school systems’ work to ensure continuity of learning during the pandemic.

"I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the new superintendent for San Antonio Independent School District. I am grateful to the board of trustees for entrusting the future of over 45,000 students to my care,” Aquino said.

“It is not a task I take lightly, and I am ready to collaborate and lead our district powerfully forward. I consider myself a teacher first. Whether I was in Denver, New York or Los Angeles–I lead with a teacher's heart, and I am excited to walk back into the ‘classroom’ with SAISD's kids,” he added.

Aquino said in his short time in San Antonio, he has toured SAISD high schools and met with community members and students, adding tthey all expressed optimism for the future.

“I feel that same optimism about the future of SAISD. My path is similar to the families of SAISD, and I am ready to get to work in making a difference in the lives of all students, families, and staff in San Antonio,” Aquino said.