Graciela Camargo

Graciela Camargo of Weslaco is not new to South Texas Independent School District (STISD). Long before she was sworn in as a member of the STISD board of directors six years ago, her face was a familiar one districtwide.

For the last 14 years, Camargo has served as the chairman of the Education Foundation of STISD, a separate nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to raise money for scholarships and to help students through the implementation of summer enrichment programs.

Even prior to the founding of the Education Foundation of STISD and her chairmanship of the board, Camargo was known throughout STISD, as she worked in the district in various capacities during her 45-year career in education. She was a counselor at South Texas High School; principal of the district’s satellite program, which served students with special needs; and dean of students.

She fondly remembers her years at STISD as “the best experience of [her] life,” and she appreciates the opportunity to serve the district that has given her so much. “The district was very good to me when I was an employee of STISD. I feel that I need to be generous to the district and give back to it in any capacity that I can.”

Camargo has a bachelor of science from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a masters from Texas A&I University in Kingsville (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville), and she holds certifications in counseling, supervision, administration, and special education.

She prioritizes giving back to the community, and although officially retired, her various commitments within her hometown and across the South Texas region keep her busy. She is an active member of the St. Pius Catholic Church in Weslaco. As the chair of the Education Foundation of STISD board, she also devotes her time and energy to events and campaigns throughout the year to raise funds for the students of STISD. Camargo serves on the board of directors for the Texas Migrant Council, and is a member of the National Migrant and Seasonal Headstart Association Board. She is also on the board for Dress for Success, and is a tax volunteer with AARP. In her spare time, Camargo enjoys hunting, fishing, crocheting, traveling, visiting and calling friends, and helping those in need.

Camargo has four children – three daughters and one son. She is also the proud grandmother of five grandchildren – three girls and two boys. One of her grandsons attended STISD for four years.

As a district retiree and a long-time leader of the district’s foundation, she has seen the district evolve and has been a part of different chapters of its existence. She takes great pride in the “student achievements” accomplished as the district has grown. She is also very proud of the administration and staff and shares that, “Everyone working together has made STISD the greatest district – not only in the Valley, but throughout the state and nation.”

She hopes to see STISD continue to grow and afford outstanding educational opportunities to the students of the Rio Grande Valley. She shares, “My hope is that STISD continue to expand and serve more students as we continue to provide an exemplary education to our students. I also hope to see more innovative programs that will lead to better opportunities for our students.” She feels that STISD “students not only should be college ready but gain some kind of certification that will help them be gainfully employed upon graduation.”