The Dominican Sisters of Houston elected Sr. Donna M. Pollard, O.P. to serve as the next Prioress at their General Chapter on Monday, January 25. She is presently Head of School at St. Pius X High School.
The congregation elected Sr. Donna and a leadership team including Sr. Mary Jean Olsovsky as Vicaress and Sr. Antoinette (Kitty) Carter as Councilor, to a six-year term. The team is responsible for the congregation’s governance and administration. It is led by the Prioress (meaning “first among equals”) as the primary authority, with the Vicaress serving as the official representative in the event of the Prioress’ absence.
Sr. Carol Mayes, current Prioress, completes her term June 5, when the installation of the new leadership begins.
“The Dominican Sisters of Houston are delighted and most grateful that Sr. Donna Pollard will be the next prioress,” Sr. Carol said. “Sr. Donna has exceptional leadership skills, as exhibited through her many years as Principal/Head of St. Pius X High School. She will also be exemplary as the Spiritual Leader of the community. Sr. Donna is also an excellent choice to be very involved with the larger civic, Dominican and Catholic communities.”
Sr. Carol was also confident of the commitment and involvement of the Dominican Sisters in a smooth transition to the future. She said the Dominican Sisters Board of Trustees and the St. Pius X High School Board of Directors have a strong transition/succession plan in place which will be implemented.
As the next Prioress, Sr. Donna will continue to be involved at St. Pius X through her position on the Foundation Board and the Dominican Sisters’ sponsorship of the School.
“I am humbled by the trust that my Sisters have placed in me by electing me as Prioress,” Sr. Donna said. “As an outcome of our recent Chapter, I am excited to join in embracing our focus on integral ecology. I am overwhelmed by the love and support that I have received from my Dominican Sisters and from the St. Pius X High School Community.”
Sr. Donna has served as Principal and Head of School at St. Pius X for the nearly 25 years. She assumed those responsibilities in 1991 and has since doubled enrollment, expanded curricular offerings and programs for students who need academic assistance, augmented the athletic and extracurricular programs, increased faculty and staff benefits, and expanded and improved the facilities and campus through the completion of several capital campaigns including a new $9 million Center for the Sciences and Media opening in the fall of 2016. Sr. Donna inspires the mission and vision of the School while ensuring that the SPX community embraces the Dominican charism as they Teach Truth and Preach Justice in the world today.
Sr. Donna returned to St. Pius X after serving as Dean of Students, a coach and a teacher at St. Agnes Academy from 1988-1991. She began her career as a biology teacher and coach at SPX from 1980-1983, and was the science department chair and a coach at SPX from 1985-1988. Sr. Donna entered the convent in July 1982.
Sr. Donna received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Houston in 1980. She went on to earn a master’s degree in systematic theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Mo., and a master’s of education in private school administration from Boston College.
A native of New York City, Sr. Donna graduated high school from St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
The Dominican Sisters of Houston is a Catholic community of women whose mission is "to publicly commit ourselves to study and address the crucial justice issues of our times." The Sisters' active ministries include teaching and school administration, prayer, campus ministry, parish ministry and others.
Current leadership team members, in addition to Sr. Carol as Prioress are Sr. Antoinette (Kitty) Carter, Vicaress, Sr. Julie Greig, Councilor, and Sr. Pat Casey, Councilor.
The search for a new Head of School to lead St. Pius X High School will begin immediately.
Visit stpiusx.org for more information.