Cecilia Abbott has devoted her life to serving others. She was a teacher, vice-principal and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas. Most recently she served as the principal of the Cathedral School of St. Mary in Austin from 1996 to 2001. Cecilia then went on to another noble calling, working as the managing director of community relations for a company specializing in senior adult health care facilities and services.
Cecilia is a product of the American Dream. The granddaughter of immigrants from Mexico, Cecilia was raised in San Antonio by parents who were both educators, and who instilled in Cecilia, her sister and two brothers a love of learning and helping others. Cecilia took their lessons to heart, and studied at the University of Texas at Austin before subsequently earning three degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Houston: a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Theology.
Cecilia also believes strongly in giving back to our communities. She serves on the board of several organizations and educational institutions and is a member of numerous philanthropic groups. She is a member of the University of St. Thomas Board of Directors, the Huston-Tillotson University Board of Directors, the Cathedral School of St. Mary Advisory Board, and the Saint Gabriel’s Catholic School Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Women’s Symphony League of Austin, the Austin Chapter of the National Charity League, and the Dell Children’s Women’s Trust. Cecilia is a former member of the State Board of Educator Certification, where she was appointed by then-Governor Rick Perry and served from 2001 to 2008, and also served on advisory boards for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Texas Regional Office, the Holy Trinity Seminary, the Austin Diocesan School, Ballet Austin, Alzheimer’s Texas, and the Principals’ Center at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
A prolific animal lover, Cecilia has nurtured numerous dogs into their late teens. She has raised a variety of pets, including a Nubian goat named Petunia and the Abbott family’s current dog, Pancake. Cecilia is also a classical music devotee, having begun piano training at the age of six. The training came in handy when she moved into the Castilian Dorm at UT where she serenaded her future husband from behind the keyboard with music, the likes of which he had never heard.
But most importantly, Cecilia is a proud mother to her daughter, Audrey, and a devoted wife to her husband of 39 years, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. With her husband¹s election as Governor, Cecilia made history by becoming the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas.