The Fort Sam Houston ISD school board.
The Fort Sam Houston ISD school board. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Fort Sam Houston Independent School District announced last Thursday that longtime Superintendent Gail Siller will retire, effective Aug. 31. She has served as the military school district’s superintendent for the past 14 years.

Fort Sam Houston Independent School District Superintendent Gail Siller.

During Siller’s tenure as superintendent, Fort Sam Houston ISD received the 2007 H-E-B Excellence in Education award for best small school district. Siller, who has been with Fort Sam Houston ISD since 1987, was honored as Region 20’s superintendent of the year in 2012.

Her 41-year-long education career also included stints in North East ISD in San Antonio and Richardson ISD south of Plano. Prior to Alamo Heights ISD naming Dana Bashara as its next superintendent in May, Siller was the only female superintendent in Bexar County.

“Emphasizing the importance of hiring and retaining the best qualified employees who understand the military families the District serves, Dr. Siller has helped ensure students become lifelong learners who respect and honor individual differences, diversity, and talents,” trustees wrote in a prepared statement.

Jayne Hatton, the district’s associate superintendent, is acting superintendent in Siller’s stead. Hatton told the Rivard Report that she plans to return to her role as associate superintendent when the search for Siller’s replacement concludes.

With nearly 1,600 students, Fort Sam ISD’s attendance boundaries are confined to the military base, sitting north of downtown and southeast of Alamo Heights. It includes Fort Sam Houston Elementary School, Robert G. Cole Middle School, and Robert G. Cole High School.

The board of five trustees, different from the typical seven in most districts, are appointed by the State Board of Education through a recommendation process involving a panel of military installation representatives. These trustees are responsible for hiring Siller’s replacement.

“Dr. Siller thanks the present and past Boards of Trustee for providing her with the opportunity to serve in the Fort Sam Houston ISD,” a prepared statement from the district said. “A school district is measured by the commitment of the Board, staff, and community to its children and their achievement. This District is indeed so committed.”

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.