The San Antonio Independent School District board of trustees unanimously voted early Tuesday morning to name former Harlandale ISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich as interim superintendent. He begins Sept. 29.

Jaklich will fill in for outgoing Superintendent Pedro Martinez, whose last day with SAISD is Sept. 28. Martinez was selected to lead Chicago Public Schools last week.

Trustees met behind closed doors for more than six hours before voting around 3:30 a.m. to accept Martinez’s resignation and appoint Jaklich as interim superintendent. The board interviewed several internal and external candidates. Board President Christina Martinez said in a prepared statement that trustees believe Jaklich is the right person to lead the district while a search for a new superintendent is conducted.

“He demonstrates the experience and wisdom to assess situations, resulting in sound decision-making,” she stated. “We are confident the district will continue to thrive under his leadership as the board plans to launch a search for a permanent replacement.”

Jaklich has 37 years of experience in education, 10 of which he spent serving as a superintendent. From 2008 to 2012, he led Harlandale ISD before serving as superintendent of Victoria ISD from 2012 to 2018. He also has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, high school principal, and human resources director, he said.

Since retiring in 2018, Jaklich has worked with JG Consulting, a superintendent search firm based in Austin. Jaklich said that experience allowed him to work with school boards and districts again, which has helped him to “better understand the challenges that face a school district at this time.”

“I feel I still have a lot to offer, and I’m just honored that the SAISD board of trustees has the confidence in me,” he said after the board meeting. “I’m very excited about the direction that the school district is going in, and 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 that’s clearly evident in what’s happening in the school district.”

Brooke Crum covered education for the San Antonio Report.