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School History


Opened at its present site in 1965 and was named after Samuel Houston Gates, a former Grant Elementary principal and longtime administrator in the San Antonio public schools.

During the 2003-04 school year Gates became a pre-kinder to grade 6 academy with grade 7 added in 2004-05.

During the 2004-05 Gates was one of five East Side campuses that obtained internal charter school status with an emphasis on an increased alignment – or cohesion - of the curriculum for all grades and subjects.

It returned to a pre-kinder to grade 5 elementary in 2008.

SH GatesSamuel Houston Gates attended school in 1882 at the old Riverside School.  This school was the only school for African-American children in San Antonio at the time.  Mr. Gates left San Antonio in 1884. Studying to be a teacher, he earned Bachelor degrees from Wiley College and the University of Kansas and a Master's degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Colorado. Mr. Gates returned to San Antonio in 1907 and in 1908 was assigned to teach at Riverside School. He taught there until 1912.  From 1913 to 1933, Mr. Gates served as principal of Grant Elementary School.  He then served as principal of Douglas Junior High School until his retirement in 1948. During his 48 years with the San Antonio Independent School District, Samuel Gates worked for equal educational opportunities for African-Americans.  He was the first African-American to have a school named after him in San Antonio. The school was dedicated on March 9, 1966.  Mr. Gates was unable to attend because of illness and was represented by his wife, who presented the school with a portrait of her husband.  Less than two weeks after the formal dedication of the school, Samuel Houston Gates died.


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