Abiel J. Cantu

Two years ago, Abiel J. Cantu, of Raymondville, returned to the place where he began his career in education in 1976, but this time to serve on the governing board. He feels honored and privileged to be a part of the STISD board of directors, which he has dedicated his time and energy to since taking oath in June of 2017.

After graduating from Raymondville High School, Cantu earned a bachelor of arts from Pan American University (now The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley). He decided to further his education, earning his master of Education Guidance and Counseling from the University of Texas Pan American in 1981.

Cantu has devoted over 40 years to education. His first job in the field was as a residential counselor with South Texas Independent School District (STISD), which was a rehabilitation district for special-needs students at the time. Cantu served in this position for three years. Throughout his lengthy career in education, he has also taught life skills (at Edcouch Elsa ISD) and Spanish (at Raymondville ISD), and has been a counselor at different levels with San Perlita ISD, Lyford ISD and Raymondville ISD. Cantu served as district testing coordinator with Raymondville ISD from 2011-2018, and is currently serving as high school counselor coordinator with the district.

He is actively involved with Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Knights of Columbus, and in his free time he enjoys riding his bike and playing golf.

Cantu and his wife, Irma Anaya of Pharr, have three children – Abiel J. Cantu, Aaron J. Cantu, and Angela J. Cantu – who all graduated from STISD’s South Texas High School for Health Professions (Med High) campus in Mercedes.

Cantu enjoys serving on the STISD board, sharing that, “It simply brings me great joy to see students excel as they further their education in becoming the leaders of tomorrow.”

He is proudest of the “distinctions that the district has achieved: the high marks on the state assessments, the AP and college entrance exams and seeing so many students graduating with honors as they make their plans to further their education,” and he hopes to see continued success for STISD. “I would like to see the board continue to work diligently and in unity to provide the very best for our students to maintain or better the state and national ranks that this district has achieved.”