Sister Thomas Ann LaCour, O.P.
Evelyn Ann LaCour
Sister Thomas Ann was born in Beaumont, Texas. She first met the Dominican Sisters when attending St. Anthony Cathedral Catholic School. “Sister Thomas Margaret Zagsttaught me. She inspired me. I wanted to be just like her.” Sister Thomas Ann graduated valedictorian from St Anthony’s in May of 1959 and entered the convent that fall.
She graduated from Dominican College with a BA in Education. She taught science and math for nine years at St. Joseph Catholic School and went on to serve as principal at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Whittier, California and St. Jerome Catholic School in Houston, Texas.
“I have always been a person of the outdoors.” In 1980 Sister Thomas Ann took a teaching position at the Houston ISD Outdoor Education Center. She was there for two years and in 1982 she opened the School of Environmental Education, providing environmental education for the Catholic schools in the surrounding dioceses, continuing her mission of taking care of God’s creation…our environment.
Sister Thomas Ann’s work is about bringing her love of the children and the environment together. “Children learn so much more by being involved in hands on things rather than in a desk behind a book.”
In 1985 Sister Thomas Ann received her Masters in Agriculture and Wildlife Sciences from Texas A&M University. As a leader in environmental teaching she has been acknowledged many times. She has been designated as an Outdoor Education Specialist by the Outdoor Education Institute of Texas A&M. In 1986 Sister Thomas Ann’s work in environmental education was recognized by the Texas Outdoor Education Association and in 1992 she was recognized by former Governor of Texas, Ann Richards as one of a special group of 42 teachers serving as Trainers for the Texas Water Commission’s statewide environmental education program. In 1993 she was honored by Keep Texas Beautiful for her creative leadership and initiative in achieving a clean and beautiful environment in Texas.
“God called me to be a Dominican and this community is my family. Because of the support of the Dominican Sisters, I have been able to do all of this work. They have always supported me and have given me the freedom to pursue my passion of taking care of God’s earth.”
From notes submitted by and interview with Sister Thomas Ann La Cour, O.P. 2