History of Steele High School
Opening its doors in August of 2005, Byron P. Steele, II High School was quick to distinguish itself among high schools in both appearance and amenities, just as the students of Steele have been quick to distinguish themselves in both academics and athletics. Steele High School boasts more than 50 clubs & organizations on campus, including athletics from the Texas staples of football and volleyball to golf and swimming. University Interscholastic League (UIL) rounds out the mix with a range of intellectual and cultural pursuits.
Byron P. Steele
Byron Phillip Steele, Jr., was born in San Antonio, Texas, on April 19, 1935, the son of Lillian Lucille Fitzgerald Steele and Byron Phillip Steele He enjoyed a simple upbringing -- Texas style! At a very young age, he developed a love for horses and the rugged Texas landscape. His life-long hobbies have included ranching, fishing, and hunting. You might say that old phrase, "You can take a man out of Texas, but not Texas out of the man," was created because of people like Dr. Steele. Growing up, he enjoyed the company of his younger brother, George, a number of friends, and his many cousins who all liked to play with the toys Byron, Sr., made for them.
After graduation from Edison High School in San Antonio in 1952, Dr. Steele enrolled in San Antonio Junior College. In May 1954, he was awarded an Associate of the Arts Degree in Business with a minor in Economics. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history in May 1957, from Saint Mary's University. After graduation that same year, he took his first teaching job.
It would be inappropriate to continue discussing Dr. Steele's career in education without mention of what he did while he was going to college. To help pay college bills, Dr. Steele was a lifeguard and a boxer. He lost only two of 22 professional bouts. Famous San Antonio sports writer and dear friend Dan Cook once called him, "one of the nicest guys ever to lace on a pair of boxing gloves."
In August 1957, Dr. Steele entered the classroom at Collins Garden Elementary, which is part of the San Antonio Independent School District. While balancing the challenges of the classroom, Dr. Steele worked late nights and long ours toward a Master of Education degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. He achieved that goal in July 1964. One year later, Dr. Steele left the classroom and took a brief respite from traditional public education. The next three years would be the only in his career outside a Texas school district.
From 1965 to 1968, Dr. Steele served as the director of the Bexar County Head Start Program. It was a brand new federal government idea, born out of the War on Poverty, designed to provide preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional and social needs. Today, Head Start serves more than 850,000 children and their families each year. Since 1965, Head Start has served nearly 20 million children. Byron Steele was one of the pioneers of this beneficial program. The enormous success is due in large part to the work of the early designers like Dr. Steele.
In 1968, Dr. Steele returned to traditional public education with new leadership skills. He put them to work as a principal at both an elementary and later a junior high school in the San Antonio Independent School District. His career path eventually led him to become principal of Alamo Heights High School and the high school in Dilley, Texas.
In July 1977, Dr. Steele went back to school to earn his Doctorate of Educational Administration from East Texas State University, finishing in 1980.
Even before he finished his doctorate, Dr. Steele began putting to practice what he was learning. From 1979 to 1981, he served as the superintendent of Malone ISD. From 1981 to 1984, he was superintendent of Devine ISD. In 1984, Dr. Steele took over the head post at the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District, where he stayed for the remaining 18 years of his nearly half-century career in education. Dr. Steele is the longest serving superintendent in SCUCISD history. He presided over tremendous growth and challenges. During his tenure, the district doubled in size from about 3300 students to 6600. The rest is not, as they say, history, but still yet to come.
In tribute to his years of serving the children of Texas and the students at SCUCISD, at the request of the community, school board members named the district's second high school after him.
Dr. Steele is married to Bernadine Cowles. He has one daughter, Lillian Lucille Steele, and two sons, Byron Phillip Steele, III (Trey) and Michael Lewis Steele.