Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott spoke at the Hill Country Republican Women Spring Luncheon on May 19 at Escondido Golf & Lake Club in Horseshoe Bay. The luncheon is sponsored by Star Republican Women, Highland Lakes Republican Women and Burnet County Republican Women.
Cecilia Abbott 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. They instilled in Cecilia, her sister and two brothers the power of education.
Cecilia took the lesson to heart and went on to study at the University of Texas and then earned 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.
The First Lady has played important roles in education excellence in Texas. She was a teacher, vice principal and then principal at several schools across Texas. Most recently she served as the principal of the Cathedral School of St. Mary in Austin from 1996 to 2001. Governor Perry appointed Cecilia to the State Board of Educator Certification, where she served from 2001 to 2008.
Mrs. Abbott also focused on health care for seniors. From 2004 to 2013, she served as the managing director of community relations at Harden Healthcare, a network of senior adult health care facilities and services.
She serves on the University of St. Thomas Board of Directors and the Huston-Tillotson Board of Directors, as well as the advisory boards for the Holy Trinity Seminary, and the Austin Diocesan School Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Women’s Symphony League, the National Charity League, and the Dell Children’s Women’s Trust. She is a former member of the advisory board for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ballet Austin and the Principals’ Center at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Cecilia is 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.
Cecilia Abbott made history when her husband Greg became Governor of Texas by becoming the first Latina First Lady of Texas in the history of the state. She is a proud wife and mother. She and Greg have been married for 33 years, and they live in Austin with their daughter, Audrey.
Since April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, it was most appropriate to have Sonny McAfee, District Attorney of Blanco, Burnet, Llano and San Saba Counties with us at our April General Meeting.
With his background in criminal justice as a prosecutor, legal advisor, legal expert instructor and, retired lieutenant in the Houston Police Department Homicide Division, he approaches prosecution and law enforcement as a co-operative effort to seek justice for our citizens. He is committed to making the 33rd and 42nd Judicial Districts one of the safest areas in the state with the efforts of concerned citizens, law enforcement officers, and those who serve in the DA’s office.
With him was Stacy Burke who joined the District Attorney’s office from Midland Texas in 2011. She has significant prosecutorial experience and has recently taken over as child abuse prosecutor, which gives her more time to work closely with the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center, as well as other professionals dealing with physical and sexual child abuse in the District. She is funded by a grant that the District received from the State of Texas for this purpose.
Both Sonny and Stacy shared details of their work and answered questions voiced by attendees. We thank them for their contribution.
In Celebration of Texas Independence Day, Highland Lakes Republican Women’s Club will host a talk on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 by newly elected Llano County Judge Mary S. Cunningham. Judge Cunningham will talk about the structure of local Texas government and the challenges of her office.
Texas Independence Day (March 2) is the theme for this month’s meeting. We will observe this important Texas event with Texas music, Texas dress and Texas foods. As we lunch, we will hear the story of the Texas Revolution as told on KR Wood’s CD “Fathers of Texas.” Come in your ranching clothes–hats ‘n’ boots are appropriate but, check your guns at the door. And, bring Texas snacks to share. Note: chili is the official state dish, salsa is the official state condiment, pecans are the official state nut and grapefruit are the official state fruit. No reservation is required for lunch and, even though it is a potluck, feel free to join in without a dish. We always have plenty.
Meeting will start at 11:30 AM with Lunch. Program will begin at 12:00 noon. A short business meeting will follow. Meting is at the Llano Library, 102 E Haynie, Llano, Texas 78643 and is open to all interested parties–women and men. Y’all come and bring a friend or two!
For more information contact Dolores Klussman 325 247-3233 or Ginger Shilts 325 248-3129
Since 2005, Christy has served as Executive Director of HCA. She travels extensively throughout the Hill Country hosting gatherings of interested stakeholders, speaking at community meetings, participating in educational programs and meeting with landowners and residents alike. Her personal HCA objectives are to weave a network of smart action oriented people who care about this special region, to connect the many valuable conservation initiatives, to avoid redundancy and to create unique informative resources that are shared freely and generously.
Before realizing her passion for a more responsible approach to growth in the Hill Country and co-founding HCA, she owned and operated a professional speaker’s bureau for 10 years. Prior to that, she worked in the meetings and hospitality industry.
She moved to Austin from the Chicago area after graduating from college in 1985, and currently resides near the south shore of Lake Travis with her husband and two boys.
The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the Central Texas Hill Country. HCA was formed in response to the escalating challenges brought to the Texas Hill Country by rapid development occurring in a sensitive eco-system. Concerned citizens began meeting in September of 2004 to share ideas about strengthening community activism and educating the public about regional planning, conservation development and a more responsible approach growth in the Hill Country.
The Hill Country Alliance promotes responsible and planned growth in a region under tremendous pressure to urbanize. We are neighbors who work cooperatively with landowners, ranchers, developers, conservationists and elected officials to preserve the water quality, water supply and natural beauty of our community. We believe a strong economic future for this region depends on our ability to direct growth in a way that conserves the very resources that make the Texas Hill Country such a desirable place to live. We encourage an open, fair and public process where citizens, neighborhoods and landowners participate in key decisions that will determine the future of our community.
Since the beginning, HCA’s primary activity has been to reach out to inform citizens about current issues relating to growth and development in the Texas Hill Country. As our region has experienced growing pains, we’ve been able to help individuals and community groups by sharing resources and information. We host community meetings about current issues and participate in many regional planning activities. HCA authors and publishes position papers on our Web site which are appropriate and pertinent to our mission. Additionally, we serve as a resource about Hill Country issues for elected officials at state and local levels, and we collaborate regularly with land trusts, groundwater districts, government agencies, environmental groups and landowners.
All interested citizens are welcome to join us. We meet at the Llano County Library in Llano. Meeting will begin at 5:30PM with light refreshments and social time. Call to order will be at 6PM and the program will begin at 6:15.
Beth Cubriel, Executive Director of the Texas Republican Party kicked off 2015 for us by speaking at our January 13. Beth talked about issues that we can expect to hear about in the 2015 Legislative session. These included firearms, water rights, and border control. She also talked about Party fundraising and our part in this important activity.
In other Club news, we are planning to attend the Leadership Conference in Belton on February 7th. Anyone interested in attending should call or email Ginger Shilts as soon as possible (325 248-3129). We are also making arrangements to have an extended stay in Austin when we go there for Legislative Day. Two rooms have been reserved for an overnight stay. Again, let Ginger know if you want to be a part of this event.
Our next meeting will be an evening event. More about this later.