SchoolCenter Picture Brig. 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.

General Lackland was born 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 dream realized.

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.


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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 superintendent.

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.