Ricardo Romo

The four second graders sat with their class in a filled auditorium. Head of School, John Webster, motioned for them to stand. Their jobs were to announce the date.

Each boy was assigned a specific word. Boys one through three said in turn, “Today.” “Is.” “February…” The fourth boy hesitated before proudly announcing his part: “22nd!”

The only problem: the date was Feb. 1.

The children and members of the community had gathered at San Antonio Academy (SAA) to honor Dr. Ricardo Romo by presenting him with the Distinguished Humanitarian Award.

San Antonio Academy presents this award annually to one outstanding citizen from the community. Romo joins the ranks of Col. David Scott, an astronaut who walked on the moon; Tom C. Frost, president of Frost Bank; and Congressman Lamar Smith.

A spirit of friendship, respect and service to others is part of the core values at SAA, and one man who exemplified this attitude was Colonel W.T. Bondurant, Sr, who was Head of School from 1927 until 1943.

According to Javier Rocha, president of SAA’s Alumni Council, “Col Bondurant’s calling in life was to mold young men to be future leaders of their community. While I personally did not know him, many of his former students thought of him not just as a teacher, but as a father figure, a grandfather, a leader and a friend.”

Bondurant helped shape the academy into a prestigious school where future community leaders can get their start and follow in his footsteps.

Rocha explained that Romo was selected this year because he has dedicated his life to knowledge and the betterment of himself and those around him.

When Romo learned he had been selected as this year’s distinguished humanitarian, he said, “My God, are you sure?”

In his address to the students of San Antonio Academy, Romo emphasized the importance of educating oneself. “You don’t know it, but you’re preparing yourself for life. If you’re going to be successful, you have to feed your soul, and there is nothing more important than your education. Nothing is more important than learning,” he said.

In accordance with that philosophy, Romo gave SAA a copy of the children’s book, Ricardo’s Race, by Diane Bertrand. After reading parts of the books to the kids, Romo told them, “The little boy who used to sweep the floors is sweeping the races,” to motivate them to never stop learning and to never stop achieving goals.

“When you speak with him, you can tell he is passionate about providing students opportunities for education and leadership,” Rocha said.

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