Just recently appointed as the newest trustee to the North East Independent School District, Omar Leos hopes his long career as an educator is bringing a unique perspective to the role.
Leos, a fine-arts coordinator with the Harlandale Independent School District, was named the NEISD District 3 trustee in November after Joseph Treviño resigned following multiple censures.
“In my role, I like to think I bring another insight to the board,” Leos said. “Right now, I believe I’m the only teacher or educator on the board. Everyone on the board has been very helpful and they’re so knowledgeable with all of their experience, but I hope to bring my perspective from my role to what we do.”
The District 3 seat is on the May 2 ballot to fill out the remaining two years of a four-year term, and Leos confirmed he will campaign.
His predecessor, Treviño, was appointed in 2017 and retained his spot after running unopposed the next year. According to reports, Treviño was sanctioned for acting outside of his authority as a trustee. He stepped away from the position in September 2019.
Leos was selected from a pool of seven candidates to replace Treviño.
“I had always thought that I wanted to run for office on a school board at some point in my career and I was going to wait until I got a little older, but then this opportunity came about,” Leos said. “My term right now isn’t very lengthy, so I don’t really have an agenda that I am bringing.”
He added, “I am trying to be as helpful and as useful as I can be to the community and to the students as I can be.”
Leos has 20 years of experience as a high school theater arts teacher, both for the Southwest and the San Antonio independent school districts.
In addition to his post with HISD, Leos serves on the board of The Public Theater of San Antonio and on the Education Committee for the Las Casas Foundation.
“I think teaching theater arts are very important for a lot of reasons, especially in today’s world,” Leos said. “My point in teaching is not to help the students become the best actors or actresses. My goal is to help make them more comfortable with themselves and to help them become more comfortable in front of other people. When someone can go and speak in front of people with confidence, that will help them go far in life, no matter what job they do.”
Leos has lived in NEISD for over 11 years, first close to Churchill High School and now in a neighborhood near LEE High School. He has a vested interest in the overall success of the district’s schools, students and faculty members, as well as the NEISD community, he said.
“I’ve got a lot of familiarity with the area and its schools,” he said.
The love of education runs very deep for Leos, as both of his parents are lifelong educators.
While he originally had no interest in following in their footsteps, that all changed once he attended college. A native San Antonian, Leos earned both his bachelor’s degree in English and theater, as well as a master’s in secondary education, from the University of the Incarnate Word. A second master’s degree in educational administration comes from Lamar University.
“Both of my parents are retired public school teachers,” Leos said. “I guess right from college is when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I grew up around education and it is something that has always been important to me.”
Leos said his aim is to serve his community and to be resource for the betterment of NEISD students.
“I am still relatively new to the job, but it is something I’m very excited about,” Leos said. “Before I’m done, I hope people take away that I’m all about education and the students of this district. I care deeply about their success and I think in my role I can, in some way, make sure they achieve great things.”