Gen. Frank D. Lackland
, for whom Lackland
Air Force Base was named in July 1947, was one of the
small, hardy band of airmen who pioneered military flying.
The base was officially named on July 12, 1947, in a ceremony where
15,000 troops participated in a mammoth parade and a formation of AT -6
trainer aircraft flew over the parade field. General Lackland's
mother attended the ceremony and presented the base
with a watercolor portrait of her son.
on a Faquier County, Virginia plantation
in 1884. He began his military career in 1911 as an infantry officer, but in
1917 transferred to the air wing of the Signal Corps. He was first assigned
to the old Duncan Field at what later became Kelly AFB; he also commanded
Brooks Field and, in 1938, assumed command at Kelly Field which was then an
advanced pilot training base.
During his tour of duty, he first pioneered the idea of a
major air-training base adjoining Kelly Field, located on the low range of
hills overlooking the Kelly runways. By his retirement in 1942, he saw the
Initially, the desolate escarpment of what is now Lackland
Air Force Base housed a considerable number of aviation
cadets in what was know as "Hill Wing" or "Tent City,"
situated east of the old hospital area. Hill Wing, originally a detachment
assigned to Kelly Field, was reorganized in the summer of 1942 as San Antonio
Aviation Cadet Center (SAACC). Construction of barracks and administrative buildings
already had begun late in 1941.
The beginnings of the Lackland ISD are closely connected to
those of Lackland Air Force Base. The "base" was established
on June 26, 1942, after the War Department separated part of Kelly Field and
named it the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center (SAACC). In 1947,
Lackland Air Force Base was created and was named for Brigadier General Frank
D. Lackland, former Kelly Field Commander. Wanting to provide on-site education
for the children of the military personnel, Lackland AFB officials petitioned
the Health, Education, and Welfare Department in 1951 for school building
funds. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) was also petitioned in order to
establish an accredited school district. In 1953, the establishment of
the Lackland ISD was approved by TEA and the office of the Bexar County
Judge. The Lackland Independent School District opened its doors to
students in grades 1-6 on September 8th, 1953.
During the 1950's and 1960's, junior and high school age
students attended schools in the San Antonio ISD. In 1967, secondary
classrooms and the Willingham Gymnasium were completed for grades beyond 6th
grade. One grade level was added a year, beginning with the 7th grade
in 1968-1969. The first graduation at Lackland Junior/Senior High
School occurred in May 1974. Since then, both schools have earned the
prestigious Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon School
Award. Both schools have consistently earned the highest ratings in the
Texas Public School Accountability System. In 1997, the Lackland
Junior/Senior High School was renamed after Virginia A. Stacey, who served
the district for 30 years as teacher, administrator, and superintendent.
Virginia Allred Stacey
lifetime educator and
Superintendent of Lackland Independent School District, died at the age of 72
on the morning of January 12, 2000. After teaching in Lackland schools for 24
years, Stacey moved into administration and was serving her tenth year as
As a tenacious advocate for students and teachers in public
education, Stacey dedicated over forty years of her life to service in Texas
and the nation, always fighting for the education of military dependent
children. She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the
Commission on the Review of the Federal Impact Aid Program in 1979. She held
numerous leadership positions throughout her career in organizations such as
the Texas State Teachers Association, the National Education Association, the
Texas Association of School Administrators, the Texas Educators Political
Action Committee, the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, and
the Military Impacted Schools Association.
Awards and honors received by Stacey included being named as
One of Ten Outstanding Women in San Antonio by the Express News, the Friend
of Education Award by District XX of TSTA, a Distinguished Service Award by
the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, and Regional Winner as
Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards. Mrs.
Stacey also participated in numerous other organizations, including being a
member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.