Namesakes

Gregory Luna Middle School

Northside's 14th middle school bears the name of a Champion of Texas Education, a man with strong roots in and love for the city of San Antonio and its people.

Born the youngest of 17 children, Gregory Luna attended Brackenridge Elementary School, Lanier Junior High School, and Lanier High School. After high school graduation and attending classes at San Antonio College, Luna enlisted in the U.S. Army. He later joined the San Antonio Police Department and attended night classes to earn a bachelor's degree in math and his law degree from St. Mary's University.

He began his law career as a San Antonio city prosecutor and then went into private practice in 1968. He got his start in politics by campaigning for Pete Torres in his run for City Councilman in 1967. Luna ran for several positions before becoming a State Representative in 1984. He remained in that position until 1992 when he became a State Senator.

Luna made his mark on education from the first day that he walked into the State Capitol. He became known as a Champion of Texas Education because he was so focused on providing legislative support for Texas public schools and Texas school children of all ages.

During his first term in the Senate, he won authorization for $20 million in construction bonds for the University of Texas at San Antonio's long-sought Downtown Campus. He served on the Senate standing committees on Education, State Affairs, and Jurisprudence. He also served on the Conference Committee on SB7 dealing with education finance and the Select Committee on Judicial Reform. In 1997, Luna chaired the Senate Hispanic Caucus, led the opposition to private school vouchers paid for with public tax money, and served on the conference committee on HB 4 dealing with school property taxation.

He is one of the founders of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Over the years, he has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Matt Garcia Public Service Award for his "outstanding leadership and service to the community" by MALDEF, the Lifetime Achievement Award from UTSA Hispanic Research Center, the 1987 Mexican-American Bar Association award for outstanding legal contributions, the 1991 MABA Outstanding Legislator Award, and the 1998 ERNIE Award from the Avenida Guadalupe Association. In 2004, he received the Henry B. Gonzalez award from the St. Mary's Hispanic Alumni Association and the Champion of Civil Rights award from AARP and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

He married Helen Garcia in 1955, and they had four children: Leticia Ann, Delores, Gerard, and Gregory Val, and five grandchildren. All four Luna children attended Northside schools and graduated from Holmes High School.