Alice High School 1978 graduate returned to his hometown to work and make decisions for the future leaders of a generation that continues to amaze him.
Cidonio “Cid” Cantu Jr.'s educational career began when he was told he would teach the sixth grade math class at St. Joseph Catholic School.
“I was at church one day when the sister asked me if I had a degree,” he said. “I told her I didn't want to teach but she insisted...That's how it all started. It wasn't the career choice I imagined, but God called me.”
Cantu remembers his first days at St. Joseph as a comfortable experience with students and parents who set the pace for his entire career. Decades later he would end up back in the town where it all began.
“I brought Harvey with me,” he joked. “It's been a whirlwind these first few weeks, but the students, parents and community have been welcoming. These students are very structured and well-behaved.”
His career has included Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University Corpus Christ and Austin ISD. He was at Austin ISD for 10 years before he decided to move back to Alice.
Cantu was to be the Memorial Intermediate Principal. However, when Dr. Alex Gonzalez, former principal took a job in another district he accepted the position.
“I love it. I get to be an administrator at the school I graduated from and I get to sit in a chair that belonged to a principal I admired, Becky Palacios,” he said.
Palacios was one of the first visitors after the school year began. They sat and talked about how his journey brought him back to Alice, and the situations he has had to face so far.
“I'm hear to make decisions. Some are harder than others, but the end result is always the safety and the knowledge these young adults should receive,” Cantu said. “I have an open communication with parents and students...I want the parents and the community to feel comfortable with me so that we can get things done. I'll make some decisions based off of their needs and concerns.”
Cantu has several goals that he wants to accomplish with the students of Alice. His main goal is to have students ready for real world issues by making sure the students are being taught the skills they need in and outside the classroom.