Dominican’s Thomas to receive St. Martin de Porres award


Dr. Cynthia Thomas, president of St. Mary’s Dominican High School for more than 20 years, will receive the 2018 St. Martin de Porres Award at the Nov. 8 gala of the Southern Dominican Province. The award recognizes individuals who are dedicated to the mission of the Dominican Order and who emulate St. Martin’s spirit of compassion, mercy and the search for truth. 

The Dominican tradition has been a part of Thomas’ life since her early years growing up in Independence, Louisiana, where she worshipped at a parish church staffed by the Dominican Friars.

She also attended Mater Dolorosa Elementary, staffed by the St. Mary Dominican Sisters.

Upon completing her bachelor’s degree at Nicholls State University, Thomas began a period of discernment with the St. Mary Dominican Sisters, completing five years of the congregation’s initial formation phase. Thomas has served the Dominican order, in collaboration with the Dominican Sisters, since 1992, the year she was named the first lay principal of St. Mary’s Dominican High. She was appointed the high school’s first lay president in 1997.

In her ministry of Dominican Catholic education,  Thomas collaborates with the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Dominican’s board of directors, school leadership and administration in developing and implementing strategic plans, goals and objectives, viewed through the Dominican lens.

She is currently a Dominican Associate (O.P.A.) with the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Thomas received a doctorate in education from Spalding University and holds two master’s degrees: a master of education from the University of Holy Cross; and a master of religious education from Loyola University.

She serves on the executive board of the Dominican Association of Secondary Schools, the board of directors for Boys Hope/Girls Hope of Greater New Orleans, and on the advisory council of Archbishop Shaw High School.

Her past service includes seven years on the board of directors for Holy Cross High School.

As Dominican’s president, Thomas guides the high school with a deep respect for its rich Dominican Catholic legacy, with its focus on preparing adolescent females for college and integrating faith into life. Through faculty and student formation and a rigorous curriculum, Dominican students are meaningfully engaged in the educational process and in the preaching mission of the Dominican Order. Academically, students not only learn subject content but also learn how to love learning and search for Truth – “Veritas.”

This year’s gala, featuring a silent auction and live entertainment, is set for Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Messina’s at the Terminal (inside New Orleans Lakefront Airport), 6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd. For ticket information, call 837-2129, ext. 8, or email

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