Longtime PSJA ISD Leader, Cancer Survivor Shares Her Inspiring Journey
In honor of Principals Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, one brave Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) principal and cancer survivor shared her inspirational story, aiming to inspire others to continue their fight.
PHARR - In honor of Principals Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, one brave Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) principal and cancer survivor shared her inspirational story, aiming to inspire others to continue their fight.
For Audie Murphy Middle School Principal and PSJA High School Alumna Lydia Treviño, her life took a complete turn when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2021. At that time, Mrs. Treviño had been serving as principal at Kelly-Pharr Elementary.
“I told the doctors that my concern was my treatment. I did not want to stop my life; I wanted to keep on working,” said Principal Treviño. “That kept me grounded and gave me a sense of normalcy. I said, yes, I am battling this, but my life is not going to stop. I am not going to let it have control over me.”
Despite her diagnosis, the longtime educator continued to be devoted to serving her PSJA Family. Principal Treviño proudly considers herself a product of PSJA ISD. She graduated from PSJA High School at the top of her class and was involved in numerous extracurricular activities, including cross country, track, student council, and the Kiwanis Club. She also earned a Cross Country/Track Scholarship to the University of Houston.
Initially aspiring to become a marine biologist due to her love of science, Treviño’s path changed during her senior year in high school when she participated in a class called BEST, allowing her to conduct classroom observations. This experience altered her course, guiding her towards a career in education.
Principal Treviño drew inspiration from her parents, who dedicated over 35 years of service to the education field. Her mother was an elementary teacher, and her father served as a counselor before becoming an assistant principal at PSJA ISD.
“I was always around education, but seeing the impact that we can make, and their smiles and the rewards shifted my mindset. That’s when the seed was planted, and I said, okay, this is what I am going to do,” said Principal Treviño.
She graduated from PSJA High School in 1994. Four years later, in 1998, she earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Early Childhood from the University of Texas Pan American and later a master's degree from Lamar University.
Treviño joined the PSJA family in 1999 as a teacher and taught at Napper, Carnahan, and Garza-Peña Elementary schools. She became an assistant principal at Carmen Anaya Elementary and, in 2015, assumed the role of principal at Kelly-Pharr Elementary, where she served the students and staff for nine years.
In 2021, during her tenure at Kelly-Pharr Elementary, a TEA A Rated Campus and 2020 National Blue Ribbon School, Treviño was diagnosed with breast cancer. She expressed immense gratitude to her family, staff and leadership for their continuous support, helping her find the strength to undergo treatments while continuing her work as the campus leader.
According to Principal Treviño, her treatment journey has been lengthy, but she has made a conscious effort to keep her life as normal as possible by continuing to work and only missing treatment days.
Currently, she is serving her first year as principal at Audie Murphy Middle School. Her recent health journey has inspired her to pursue further education by participating in the Doctoral Program at Texas A&M Corpus Christi University.
This October marked the one-year anniversary of her last chemotherapy treatment. With a newfound perspective on life’s preciousness, she remains dedicated to her family, students, and living life to the fullest.
Due to her personal journey and experiences, Principal Treviño has become an outspoken advocate, reminding all women to get regular screenings and take the time needed to implement self-care.
“My main message is to get checked and put yourself first. You are a priority, and you must advocate for yourself,” said the PSJA principal. “It may not be cancer, but whatever it may be, you are your own advocate.”