Book Explores History Of Eastside's St. Philip's College

Jan 30, 2013

The Source: The incredible story of St. Philips College is now documented in a new book, and believe it or not, pool season is just around the corner and the parks department is already recruiting lifeguards.

The Rich History of St. Philip's College

St. Phillip’s has the distinction of being the only school in the nation that is a historically black and Hispanic serving institution.

In 1898, St. Philip’s Normal and Industrial School began its first classes teaching sewing to African American girls. Today, St. Phillips is a fully accredited junior college providing 85 associate’s degrees in three categories: liberal arts and sciences, health sciences and applied science and technology. More than 80 certificate programs are also available, including aircraft technology, computer maintenance technology, early childhood studies and surgical technology.

How St. Philip’s grew from modest origins to become a significant part of San Antonio’s community education system is told in a new book, "St. Philip’s College: A Point of Pride on San Antonio’s Eastside," which was written by Marie Pannell Thurston, the coordinator of the Oral History Project for St. Philip’s.

Summertime, and the livin's easy

It is hard to tell it’s the end of January right now, it’s warm and sunny outside, but soon we’ll be melting under the 100 degree sun looking for a cool pool to dive into. Anticipating the coming heat, the city of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation department is already gearing up for those summer days and looking for life guards.

Kenny Gonzalez is with the aquatics division:

"We try to hire about 200-230 lifeguards, when we are fully open that's how many we will be using. Like I said, we are going to have four pools open in spring break and then in May, but once all 24 pools open up then that's when we need the full compliment of lifeguards."

The department is hosting several "Wanna be a Lifeguard? Parties" in hopes that local teens, college students, and adults 16 and over, will attend and apply.  The parties will be held on the following Saturdays: Feb. 9 and 23, March 9 and 30 and April 13 and 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Natatorium, 1430 W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. Refreshments will be served.

"This is an opportunity to secure an excellent job and training that will benefit you the remainder of your life,” said Parks Assistant Director Nikki Ramos. “Interested applicants will have the opportunity to visit with staff and discuss the qualifications and benefits of being a lifeguard.  We really want to encourage individuals to apply as soon as possible so that we can get them trained and prepared to be a lifeguard at our pools."

The department provides CPR and lifesaving training to prepare applicants for their lifeguarding responsibilities.  Applicants who have passed the prerequisite test will be scheduled for training classes.  The starting salary is $9.01 per hour.

The following four regional pools will be open for spring break (March 12-17):

  • Heritage, 1423 Ellison Dr.
  • Lady Bird Johnson, 10700 Nacogdoches
  • South Side Lions, 3100 Hiawatha
  • Woodlawn, 1100 Cincinnati

These four pools will resume operations starting on Saturday, May 7 until the regular outdoor pool season that includes all 24 outdoor pools begins on June 15.

The regular 2013 outdoor pool season runs June 15 through Aug. 18.  Hours of operation at the majority of the department’s 24 outdoor pools are Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. Morning Lap Swim will be offered from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the four regional pools.

Full Disclosure: David Martin Davies is a former lifeguard for the San Antonio Parks and Rec. Department (in 1980).