Patlán Elementary is named for Vincent Patlán. He was born November 9, 1924, in Gonzales, Texas. He was one of seven children and his father supported his large family by working on farms, picking cotton, shoveling coal, and shining shoes. Even though Vincent's family was poor, his father always stressed to him the importance of an education as a way to better himself. Once when Vincent was in high school his father taught him a lesson. After earning a little money shoveling some coal, Vincent told his father that he'd decided not to go to college; he'd work and earn money instead. The next day, his father took Vincent with him to shovel a whole boxcar full of coal. The work was backbreaking and took all day. Tired, sweaty, and covered with black coal dust, Vincent realized the importance of school. This was a lesson he was to share many times with hundreds of young students in the years to come.
Vincent Patlán graduated from Gonzales High School in 1943. He joined the Army during World War II and was sent to Europe. After two and a half years, he returned with a Purple Heart, having been wounded in action.
In 1949, Vincent Patlán earned his B.S. degree from Southwest Texas State University and, in 1951, a Master’s in Education. He did further study on the education of migrant children.
In 1950, Mr. Patlán came to Seguin ISD as a Visiting Teacher/Social Worker/Truant Officer. His job was to make sure that children were attending school, as required by law. Mr. Patlán had a loving and caring approach and his main desire was to see the people he served received a good education. He soon learned that there was usually a good reason for a child being absent- maybe he had no shoes or coat or maybe he was sick, and his parents had no money to buy medicine. Mr. Pátlan said, "My main objective is to find the problem this kid is having and solve it." So he did. Mr. Patlán would visit the home of each child who did not come to school. He would talk to the child and his parents to find out how he could help. Mr. Patlán bought school supplies for those who couldn't afford them; he bought shoes and coats and made sure the child saw a doctor or dentist if he needed. Mr. Patlán never forgot how it felt to be poor and did everything he could to help.
Mr. Patlán belonged to many organizations that helped people. He was a member of the Lions Club, serving for a time as the Chairman of the local unit of Texas Lions Camp for Crippled Children. He was director of the Boys Club and was active in his church and the Salvation Army. He served on the boards of the MHMR, Guadalupe County Welfare Agency and the Seguin Housing Authority, and he belonged to the Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion.
Mr. Patlán was married to Frances Flores who was also a teacher in Seguin. They had one daughter, Thalia, also a teacher, who had the proud honor of teaching in a school named for her father.
Because Mr. Patlán knew of so many needy families, it made sense when he was asked to help local businesses, churches and civic organizations distribute baskets of food at Christmas time. For the last eleven years of his life (the last time from a hospital's intensive care room), Mr. Patlán and his wife made a list of those families that needed food. Much of the time, Mr. Patlán would drive his car all over town delivering those baskets. He earned the fitting nickname, "Santa Claus of Seguin."
Vincent Patlán died February 7, 1985. He was buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. The children of Seguin and their families had lost a caring friend.
We strive for excellence
We will accomplish our mission by:
Preparing confident, life-long learners and responsible citizens of the world
Instilling integrity, determination and a strong work ethic
Developing problem solvers and critical thinkers
Encouraging parental and community partnerships
First Bell: 7:50 AM
Tardy Bell: 8:00 AM
Dismissal: 3:30 PM
Breakfast and Lunch Menus
Matador Challenge Club
Matador Running Club
1221 E. Kingsbury | Seguin, Texas 78155 | Phone: (830) 401-8600 | Fax: (830) 379-0392 • Privacy Statement • © 2006-2016 Seguin Independent School District