The History of Our International Boarding School in Texas
Scott Retires And Dr. Brian Guenther Becomes President
When the 2017-18 school year began, the Academy welcomed students in grades 4-12 and for the first time, the number of day students exceeded the number of boarding students. The success of the new Lower School program encouraged the Academy Board of Trustees to approve the addition of grades K-3 in the following school year; planning and recruitment for the lower grades quickly became a top priority at our Texas private boarding school.
San Marcos was hit by two historic floods in 2015, one in the summer and one in late October. The damage from these events necessitated renovation to several buildings as well as the addition of drainage control measures across campus to continue to provide in-person learning in San Marcos Texas. Once these projects were completed, President Scott continued to seek funding for other improvements to our aging campus.
The 2014-15 school year was a time of transition at SMA with the retirement of Dr. Garrison on Jan. 30, 2015 and the appointment of Jimmie Scott as Interim President. After serving through the spring semester in the interim capacity, Mr. Scott was named by the Board of Trustees as President on July 8, 2015.
The Academy’s Board of Trustees on June 11, 2008, appointed Dr. John Garrison as the Academys 13th president. Dr. Garrison, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at Texas State University, began his duties at the Academy full time on Aug. 8, 2008.
During Schmidt’s tenure as president, the Academy experienced a 32 percent rate of growth in enrollment, including the highest re-enrollment percentage achieved in more than 20 years in 2007. Through Schmidt’s leadership, the school expanded its Learning Skills Program; increased the Academy’s property holdings by 20 percent; established an Animal Husbandry Program with a full range of 4-H activities; and created a comprehensive Strategic Plan to design a roadmap for the Academy’s future. Additionally, under Schmidt’s guidance, the Academy established a Student Advisory Program, providing staff mentors for all students.
The Academy moved forward in academics during the Fall of 1993 with the beginning of the Carroll Scholars Honor Program. This accelerated honors program is designed to prepare students for the top colleges and universities in the country.
After long and detailed negotiations with Southwest Texas State University, an agreement was reached to sell the campus to the University. The sale was closed on June 20, 1979, with the understanding that the Academy would occupy the old facilities while the new campus was planned and constructed.
Jack E. Byrom Serves During Transitional Years At Smba
In the fall of 1965, Jack Edwards Byrom became the Academy’s tenth president, leaving the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in San Marcos. He began his work with the determination to build on the foundation which had been established so well by his nine predecessors, and to maintain the momentum which had been building in the immediate past.
Dr. William H. Crook became president in June, 1960, and immediately set into motion plans which resulted in more improvements in less time than at any other period in Academy history. His first emphasis was to improve the quality of personnel by increasing remuneration and recruiting outstanding people.
Former Student Dr. Robert Bruce Reed Becomes President
Dr. Robert Bruce Reed, formerly superintendent of the Alamo Heights School District in San Antonio, Texas, assumed the office of president on July 17, 1947. At the age of five, Dr. Reed had accompanied his father to the ceremonial laying of the cornerstone of Carroll Hall.
At this time Mrs. P. T. Talbot of San Marcos launched the Academy endowment fund with a gift of $200 to which two faculty members added $50 for a grand total of $300. From this beginning the endowment has slowly but steadily grown.
President Cavness Guides Smba Through Financial Difficulties
Once again a citizen of San Marcos and a member of the faculty of Southwest Texas State Teachers College was enlisted by the Board of Trustees when they selected Dr. Raymond M. Cavness as president. The financial condition of the school was exceedingly poor; nevertheless, a renewed spirit of enthusiasm and optimism was created by the incoming administration.
When President Brown resigned in the spring of 1927, the Board of Trustees elected as his successor a man who had been a member of the faculty since 1920, Colonel Jesse Franklin, the first member of the faculty to be elected to the position of president. Under his leadership, freshman college work was offered for several years by the Academy.
With the military spirit pervading America in the war year of 1917, the Academy launched its program of military training. The United States granted the Academy a Junior Unit of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Immediately, the uniform and the discipline of military life became part of the life of the students of San Marcos Baptist Academy, instilling self-discipline, patriotism, leadership, and responsibility.
Professor J. V. Brown, superintendent of schools of Dothan, Alabama, was unanimously elected as the third president of the Academy by the Board of Trustees. The administration of President Brown was marked by expansion in several directions: the campus was enlarged, buildings were erected, the faculty was increased, and the curriculum was broadened. During that same year a two story frame residence, situated across the street from Carroll Hall, was purchased at a cost of $4,500 to be used as a home for the president.
Presidency Passes To Prof. Thomas G. Harris
As successor to Dr. Carroll in 1911, the Board of Trustees turned to one of their own charter members, Professor Thomas G. Harris, who had served as president of the Southwest Texas Normal School, now Texas State University.
In San Marcos on September 19, 1906, trustees were elected by the Conference of Texas Baptists. In their first meeting they ratified the action of the San Marcos Business Men’s Club by electing Dr. J. M. Carroll as the first president of the San Marcos Baptist Academy.
The San Marcos Baptist Academy story began December 20, 1905, when the Rev. M. E. Hudson, a pastor in San Marcos, and the Rev. J. B. Holt spoke at a meeting in Lockhart on the need for a Baptist school in the southwestern area of the state.