Former Victoria school district Superintendent Robert Jaklich pulled down on a rope and revealed the new name of the VISD Conference Center.

He looked up at the sign that read “Dr. Robert A. Jaklich Conference Center” and smiled.

“It is with gratitude that we recognize the tremendous impact that you had in the lives of our VISD children by renaming this facility today,” school board president Tami Keeling said to Jaklich.

School board members, district staff and the community gathered Tuesday afternoon and watched as Jaklich unveiled the new name of the former VISD Conference Center, now the Dr. Robert A. Jaklich Conference Center, 2909 Miori Lane.

Keeling said Jaklich created an environment of communication and a solid foundation for the board and VISD administration to build on.

Keeling said although many think education happens quickly, it is a progression that is built on for years. She added Jaklich’s work has helped the district progress past his years as the district’s superintendent.

“The fingerprints we leave do not fade,” she said.

The board approved naming the facility after Jaklich during his last board meeting as superintendent in June 2018.

Jaklich became superintendent in 2012 and served six years in the position before retiring in August 2018.

Superintendent Quintin Shepherd was hired in July 2018 and has a contract with the district until 2022.

Shepherd said Jaklich did a great job as superintendent, and he made it easy to pick up where he left off.

“A superintendent casts a very long shadow in the school district,” he said. “He casts a shadow that was a positive culture.”

Jaklich left the district strong and left administrators with the mindset that they can tackle any initiative and be successful, Shepherd said.

“I’m just so glad we got the chance to honor Dr. J.,” Shepherd said. “He did such great work when he was here with the district and put us on such a fantastic path forward.”

Jaklich said the board was great when he came to the district in 2012 and still is.

“We became people who truly cared about the same thing,” he said. “As I look out here, I see so many of our amazing VISD staff. What an honor it was to serve with you.”

He said the six years he served in Victoria were best of his 37-year career.

“I’m beyond words, honored for the dedication of the building,” Jaklich said. “The visit here today brings back such wonderful, amazing memories of my time here in Victoria.”

Jaklich said he worked hard at the district because it was important work and not for the recognition. During his time, he said the most important thing he did was make connections with the people who continue to work toward making education better.

He said Tuesday was a day he won’t ever forget.

“Coming back and seeing everybody, it’s like coming home,” he said.

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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(1) comment

Dale Zuck

Thank you Doctor. You and the School Board gave Victoria memories: a) test scores in the bottom 20% statewide, b) crumbling buildings with no preventative maintenance planning schedule, c) 5 yrs of 20% teacher resignations, d) uncompetitive teacher salaries, e) first failed bond issue in 50 years and finally a humorless motto stating "612 miles of excellence." Yes Doctor thank you for the memories. But I prefer the old memory when the " conference center" was the VHS Band Hall.

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