NEISD 50th Anniversary Archival Interview: An Afternoon with Royce & Jeanette Jones video
recorded May 13, 2004


Probably the Superintindent that most of us remember best is Virgil T. Blossom. Blossom served as the  Superintendent of Schools in Little Rock, Arkansas and was discharged from the school system at the time the school board resigned en masse in November 1958.  He started work at NEISD on July 1, 1959 and served until the time of his death January 15, 1965. Jay Collins made me aware of a book written by Blossom that is out of print but tells his story and what brought him to San Antonio as arguably the best Superintendent that NEISD ever had. 


Blossom paved way for district's 50 years of athletic success - San Antonio Express-News March 9, 2005


Joe Bill Fox was brought to San Antonio in 1961 by NEISD Superintendent Virgil T. Blossom. Fox was charged with putting together a team that could beat football powerhouse Thomas Jefferson High School. He was the Head Coach at MacArthur High School from 1961 - 1968 and Athletic Director for NEISD from 1968 - 1975. He left NEISD in the 70's to become General Manager of the San Antonio Wings professional football team. Coach Fox is a Past President and founding member of Texas High School Athletic Directors. He spoke at the Annual meeting of the Coker Cemetery Association in May 2019. At that meeting were MacArthur Football players from the 1961 team, the 1966 team and the 1967 team (the last one he coached). Coach Fox told many stories that I had never heard before.

  • The first was his employment agreement. He was given three years to beat the Jefferson football team. The first year, he lost. The second year, he lost. The third year, he beat Jefferson!

  • The next story he told was about his first day on the job. Dr. Blossom drove his Buick Electra over to MacArthur and picked him up for a ride. Blossom told him “I want you to meet Clarence and Edna Mae Gerfers. They know everybody in the district and they can help you.” I had never heard that story and was surprised and proud of my parents having no idea that Dr. Blossom thought so highly of them.

Coach Fox with some of his players from the '66 team


* What was to become North East Independent School District began as North East Rural High School District #6 on August 3, 1949 when seven schoolhouses scattered throughout 135 square miles of northeast Bexar County, combined to become one district, courtesy of the Gilmer-Aiken Law that reorganized the Texas Education System.

The creation of the North East Rural School District No. 6 brought together 756 students. The common school districts had the following number of students enrolled: Blanco Road Common School District #6 with 17 students, Seay Common School District #7 with 57 students, Olmos Common School District #9 with 140 students, Lookout Valley Common School District #10 with 67 students, Serna Common School District #11 with 274 students, Salado Valley Common School District #10.5 with 93 students, and Coker Common School District #50 with 109 students.

In 1951, the first High School in the district, North East High School. On March 4, 1955 the rural high school district voted to become an independent school district and operate under the jurisdiction of the state education agency. Located in what was considered the fastest growing section of San Antonio, NEISD now had 10 campuses and the student enrollment had increased to 15,800 students by 1961.

In 1958, Robert E. Lee High School opened and North East High School became Douglas MacArthur High School.
By 1962, approximately 80,000 people lived within the boundaries of the school district. NEISD was known as one of the nation’s fastest growing districts. Metropolitan San Antonio was to the south of the district, which adjoined Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills. It extended from Fredericksburg Road on the west to include the Austin Highway in east Bexar County, and included portions of San Antonio, Terrell Hills, and Balcones Heights; as well as Castle Hills, Hill Country Village, Hollywood Park, and Windcrest. The southern portion of the District was known to contain some of the finest homes in suburban San Antonio, while the northern portion was devoted to farming and ranching.

The District scrambled to keep pace with its popularity. Twelve new campuses were added in a 60-month period that ended in 1965. By 1965, the District had 631 teachers, 22 music and P.E. staff members, 11 elementary librarians, and 35 education staff members. By October 1967, NEISD had added Roosevelt and Churchill high schools and had grown to 24,434 students. In 1971, a bond election passed to add 215 classrooms to the District, including four new schools and additions and renovations for existing facilities. Since that time, bond issues for new construction, additions, renovations and technology were passed in 1979, 1988, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. This represents a $2.4 billion investment in new schools, renovations and technology by community voters. For more than a decade, the District’s population continued to grow -- from about 47,800 students in the fall of 1998 to approximately 67,800 in the fall of 2016.

In 1966 Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt High Schools opened.

In 1976 James Madison High School opened.

In 1999 Ronald Reagan High School opened.

In 2008 Lady Bird Johnson High School opened.

Today NEISD is the Second Largest School District in San Antonio. MacArthur currently has an enrollment of 2,247 students. The suburban communities and farmland have transformed into a diverse and dynamic highly-sought after region of San Antonio. The district continues to receive its vision and energy from the dedicated teachers, staff, hard-working students, parents and volunteers who are the heart of this community.

* Source of the above information is the NEISD website.