About Us » Our History

Our History

A True Pioneer
Southwest Winners, founded by Mr. Jim Neal, was one of the first independent contractors to provide alternative education in the San Antonio area by establishing a high school serving at-risk students for Alamo Heights ISD and Judson. When the charter legislation was passed and TEA asked for proposals, it was an easy decision to take the successful educational program and write a charter proposal featuring two key pillars used in the alternative school - character education and self-paced learning. 
Friends since their days teaching together at Roosevelt, Mr. Neal knew there was only one choice he wanted as a partner in writing the charter proposal, Dr. Gary Short. Their enduring partnership would prove to be the foundation for the charter school's growth and success. 
Established on March 6, 1998, Southwest Preparatory School to implement its overarching vision which is to do profound good in the community by providing an adaptive educational program that better meets the needs of our youth and prepares them 
An Era of Accomplishment 
In 1998 Southwest Preparatory School opened its doors in San Antonio to 23 students and now serves over 900 students at six campuses located in San Antonio and Seguin.  
If the past is any indication of what the future can be, then our growth and enviable record of success with at-risk students during the past 20 years will continue - as well our determination to provide adaptive educational opportunities to students through tuition-free, public elementary, middle, and high schools. 

Significant Historic Events

March 6, 1998:  Southwest Preparatory School ranked 2"' out of 165 charter applications to become a 2"' Generation charter school and one of six charter schools in San Antonio with a five year charter from the State Board of Education                                                                                      

April 12, 1998:  Southwest Winners Foundation, Inc. is created as the sponsoring non-profit for Southwest Preparatory School                                                                                                           

August 12, 1998:  Opened the first day of school with 23 students in the Alamo Hill Shopping Center at 1248 Austin Hwy                                                                                                                

1998-1999:  Students voted to have "Knights" as mascot narrowly defeating runner up "Blue Devils" by two votes                                                                                                                                      

1999-2000:  Received Discretionary Grant from TEA to start a co-op for special education.            

 2001: Expanded to 735 S.W.W. White Rd. (Southeast Campus) and operated in the sanctuary of Hope Presbyterian Church                                                                                                                

2001:  Passed a 2.25 million municipal bond to purchase land on Austin Hwy, build the Northeast Campus and purchased Hope Presbyterian Church and site improvements at the Southeast Campus

2001 Selected by TEA to operate a pilot "virtual school."

2002  Awarded 1.3 million dollars to upgrade the Southeast Campus and brought in the new education building and cafeteria building

2002  Expanded to Northwest San Antonio and took over the School of Excellence facilities and staff on Bandera Rd

2003 Moved the Northwest Campus to the old Koger Center (Centerview Crossing Office Complex) off of Callaghan Rd

2003 Moved into Northeast Campus at 1258 Austin Hwy

2003  Started an alternative school for District called New Directions

2003  Charter is extended for 10 years to 2013

2004 Opened a night school at Northeast Campus

2005 Purchased vacant lot next to Southeast Campus 

2006 Passed an 8 million dollar bond to build New Directions (Northeast Middle School), Northwest Campus in Alamo Downs, and to refinance 2001 bonds at a lower interest rate

2006-2007 New Directions Alternative Campus moved into the new building on the Northeast Campus

2007-2008 Northwest Campus moves from Callaghan campus location to Alamo Downs

2009 Opened night school at Northwest Campus 

2009-2010 Started local School Health Co-op

2010  Purchased campus vans

2010- 2011  Awarded a 3-year TTIPS Transformation grant totaling approximately 9 million dollars; (The purpose of the grant was to change our district from a credit recovery/drop-out prevention school to a college preparatory model.)

2011-2012  Northeast Campus is SACS Accredited

2012-2013  Opened Middle Schools at each campus and converted New Directions alternative school to Northeast Middle School

2012-2013  Southeast & Northwest Campuses are SACS Accredited

2012-2013 Northwest Campus added students from Shekinah Radiance schools

2012-2013 Hired architects to begin planning Northwest multi-purpose building

2012-2013 Applied for ten-year charter renewal

2013  Purchased a bus to transport Northwest students to the Northeast campus

2013-2014  Expanded elementary grades at Northeast and Southeast Campuses

2013-2014  Added Northwest Elementary School on Culebra Rd

2013-2014  Approved to expand to contiguous counties

2013-2014  Added elementary grades to Northeast Campus by remodeling New-Directions building

2014-2015  Added an elementary building to the Southeast Campus

2015-2016  Remodeled Grace Family Bible Church

2016-2017  Opened the Seguin Campus PreK-5; Purchased a property from Grace Family Bible Church; Refinanced Debt and borrowed funds for Phase Two of Seguin and Northwest Campus Gym;  Completed Phase Two Seguin.

2017-2018  Added grade 6 to Seguin Campus; Remodeled Northwest Campus to add classrooms and grades 5 and 6; Began construction of the Northwest Campus gym

2018-2019  Added grade 7 to Seguin Campus; Celebrated Twenty Year Anniversary; Completed the Northwest Campus gym; Northwest Campus partnered with Texas A&M University-San Antonio to become an official Early College High School

2019-2020  Added grade 8 to the Seguin Campus

2020-2021  Added grade 9 to the Seguin Campus

2021-2022 Added grade 10 to the Seguin Campus

2022-23 Added grade 11 to the Seguin Campus

2023-24 Added grade 12 to the Seguin Campus

2023 Demolished the old cafeteria to make way for a two-story building that now accommodates five high school classrooms and a newly designed cafeteria at the Seguin campus.