2023 VCHS President's Banquet
Published June 3, 2023
On Friday, June 2, Vandebilt Catholic High School hosted the third annual President’s Banquet in the Kolb center on campus. Jeremy Gueldner, VCHS president, presented awards for Distinguished Service and Hall of Fame. Doug Hamilton, VCHS Director of Advancement and Alumni presented the award for Alumni of the Year. Guests included VCHS administration and faculty, Diocesan officials, Brothers of the Sacred Heart leaders, family, friends, supporters, and past Alumni of the Year and past Hall of Fame inductees.
2023 Distinguished Service Award Recipients
The 2023 Distinguished Service Award were presented to Mrs. Valerie Badeaux and Mrs. Colleen Welch. This award recognizes individuals who quietly work to help VCHS recognize its mission through volunteer work at the school.
Valerie Weber Badeaux was born in Shreveport, LA and grew up in Many, LA. She attended Many High School, before attending Northwestern State University and Loyola University. She relocated to Galliano, LA in November of 1999 after marrying her husband Scott.
Valerie spent twenty years as a paid employee of the Catholic Church, holding various positions including Director of Religious Education, Parish Secretary, Youth Minister, and Pastoral Associate. When Valerie’s son, Cameron, began Pre-K 4 at Holy Rosary Catholic School, she was asked to help with a school project and that’s where she discovered the need for volunteers in Catholic schools and felt compelled to give back.
For the past 14 years, Valerie took her experience in church ministry and dedicated her time to volunteering at both Holy Rosary Catholic School and then Vandebilt Catholic. While her son attended Holy Rosary Catholic School, Valerie helped in the library and as a substitute. She was also a member of the Advisory Committee, a Classroom Representative Co-Coordinator, and Hawk Parent Club Co-Coordinator. She was committee chairperson for a number of events such as Glow in the Dark Fun Run, Fall Fun Day, Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Fest, and Vocation Awareness Week, just to name a few.
When Cameron started at Vandebilt Catholic, Valerie served as a test reader, and has volunteered her time as a substitute teacher, sometimes weeks at a time, for the last four years. She was also a member of the Mothers’ Club and served at events such as Grandparents Day, senior breakfast, and donut and king cake sales after school Masses. At VCHS, she is loved by students and faculty, alike. Her hope was always that her volunteer efforts on campus assisted in promoting the mission of Catholic schools and she is a shining example of service to all when on campus.
Valerie has been married to her husband Scott for 24 years. Their son, Cameron graduated from VCHS this year with the class of 2023. When not volunteering at school, Valerie enjoys camping with family and friends.
Colleen Dupuis Welch is a native of Breaux Bridge, LA and has been a resident of Houma for the past 29 years. After graduating from Breaux Bridge High School, Colleen obtained two degrees, one from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Math Education and one from University of New Orleans with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. During her career, Colleen was a teacher at Breaux Bridge High School and Terrebonne High School, as well as an accounting assistant at Houma Armature Works. She is now a stay-at-home mom, who has dedicated her time to volunteer work.
Colleen has spent close to ten years volunteering at Vandebilt Catholic, either through Mothers’ Club, Terrier Club, or helping at school-wide events such as Terrier Tailgate. She most recently managed the Mothers’s Club Shoppe, where she designed, ordered, and fulfilled online orders, and sold merchandise at football games and during school lunches. She has always lended a helping hand at events such as senior breakfast, teacher appreciation week, donut and king cake sales after school Masses, and handing out photo cards for Grandparents Day.
Colleen also contributed to the Terrier Club by volunteering for the annual golf tournament, processing Terrier Club passes, and helping out in the hospitality tent at football games. On Wednesdays, you could also find Colleen in the Chapel for weekly adoration, as her faith is something to be admired.
Colleen has been married to her husband, Mark for 30 years and they have two children, Alex, 2018 VCHS graduate and Ryan, 2023 VCHS graduate. When she’s not volunteering at school, Colleen enjoys tennis, exercising, and attends regular Bible studies.
2023 Alumnus of the Year
The 2023 Alumnus of the Year Award was presented to Mr. Tanner Magee '98.
Tanner Magee was born and raised in Houma, LA. While in high school at Vandebilt Catholic, Tanner was Sophomore Class President, Latin Club President, and was also a member of the first VCHS Quiz Bowl team to win a state championship. He also won the Father Finnegan (School Spirit) award his senior year. After graduating from VCHS in 1998, Tanner attended Louisiana State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Public Administration. He briefly worked in public regional planning before returning to Louisiana State University to earn his J.D. at LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law School. Tanner was recognized for his oral advocacy when he was selected to the Moot Court Board. READ FULL BIO HERE.
READ MORE on the Alumni of the Year Award and full list of Past Recipients.
2023 Hall of Fame Inductees
Mrs. Patrice Monier accepts the 2023 Hall of Fame Induction award.
Mrs. Patrice Gauslin Monier is a native of New Orleans, and after attending parochial grammar schools there, she graduated from Riverdale High School in 1973. Patrice graduated in 1977 from Nicholls State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Math Education and a minor in English. While a student at Nicholls, she met her future husband, Philip Monier, Jr. of Raceland and they married in her final year of college. He too was an educator, who retired from the public-school system after working with special needs children. READ FULL BIO HERE.
Mr. Heinke Trapp '81 accepted the 2023 Hall of Fame Induction award.
Heinke Trapp was born in Gretna, LA to Heinke and Audrey Trapp. A few years later, his family moved to Houma and he attended St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School. He continued his education at Vandebilt Catholic and graduated in 1981. From there, he attended Louisiana State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Social Sciences in 1986. READ FULL BIO HERE.
Mrs. Phyllis Peoples '80 accepts the 2023 Hall of Fame Induction award.
Mrs. Phyllis LeBlanc Peoples was born in Franklin, LA, but raised in Houma, LA. She attended Vandebilt Catholic and graduated in 1980. She then attended the University of Southwest Louisiana, graduating with a nursing degree in 1985. During the next decade, Phyllis married her husband, Michael and they had their first child. She worked as a critical-care nurse in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and then she and her family moved to Georgia. During that time, Phyllis earned a Master of Science degree with specializations in administration and education from Valdosta State University, in Valdosta, GA. READ FULL BIO HERE.
Read more on the Hall of Fame Induction award and full list of Past Recipients.
VCHS Hosts Elementary Literary Rally for Local Schools
Published March 24, 2023
On Saturday, March 18, 2023, Vandebilt Catholic (VCHS) hosted its 30th Elementary Literary Rally. Participants in 5th-7th grade from schools in the Terrebonne and Lafourche areas competed in the areas of English, Math, Louisiana History, Science, and Social Studies. Awards for each subject tested were presented by Mrs. Julie Pellegrin, VCHS Dean of Academics and VCHS Department Leaders, Mrs. Valerie Manns, English, Mrs. Kayla Starr, Math, Mrs. Ann Robichaux, Science, and Mr. Dave Malone, Social Studies.
17 local schools participated: Bayou Community Academy, Broadmoor Elementary, Central Catholic Elementary, Dularge Elementary, Evergreen Junior High School, Holy Rosary Catholic School, Houma Christian School, Lacache Middle School, Lisa Park Elementary, Mulberry Elementary, St. Bernadette Catholic School, St. Francis de Sales School, St. Genevieve Catholic School, St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic, St. Joseph Catholic Elementary, St. Mary's Nativity School, and St. Matthews Episcopal School
Mr. Philip Wu, owner of Great Southern Computers and long-time supporter of the Elementary Literary Rally, donated six chromebooks and two projectors that were raffled to participating schools.
Entertainment was provided by the VCHS Indoor Percussion group and “Minute to Win It” games for the students were hosted by VCHS Captain Spirit, along with some of the VCHS cheerleaders and Jr. High SGA members.
Mrs. Julie Pellegrin, VCHS Dean of Academics stated, “After three years of not being able to host the elementary school rally due to the pandemic and Hurricane Ida, it was wonderful to see all of the young scholars back on our campus. This tradition was started 30 years ago by Mr. David Boudreaux and is certainly an event that we look forward to hosting each year.”
Full list of winners can be found HERE.
Art Classes Collaborate with Local Carnival Krewes
Published February 10, 2023
Over the last several months, students in our Vandebilt Catholic art department collaborated on projects with local carnival krewes in our community. The tangibility of seeing a project come to life for a client was a great opportunity for these students, while still in the classroom.
The Art III/IV class, under the direction of Mrs. Laurie Robichaux ‘84, was tasked with creating a maid’s collar for the Krewe of Terreanians, to be used at this year’s tableau. For this project, each student created, then submitted a design, where the Krewe of Terreanians was able to choose a winning concept. This year’s winning design concept was sketched by junior, Shelby Whitty. Once the design was approved, the whole class worked collaboratively to construct the components of the collar. The wire armature for the collar was reconstructed from an old collar frame, and then other components were added using sequins, fabric, beads, feathers, and hot glue.
John Poiencot, Krewe of Terreanians President, stated,“We, at the Krewe of Terreanians, were extremely blown away by the prestigious design and imagination these students had for this project. Our Queen Father, Mr. Frank Davis made these arrangements with the art department. They did an outstanding job! Thank you, VCHS! You guys rock!”
Laurie Robichaux, Art III and IV teacher added, “It was such a gift to witness our young artists successfully collaborate as pairs and then as a whole group working towards a shared vision. This was an amazing opportunity to partner with the Krewe of Terreanians, while expanding our repertoire of techniques and media. Though there was a learning curve for some parts and processes, we were all very proud of the final product.”
Alexis Vicknair, Art IV student shared, “It was exciting to be able to see the entire process of creating part of a maid’s costume, along with learning how to use materials we have never used before to create something from scratch. It was definitely a new way to take part in the [Mardi Gras] celebration.”
The Graphics II class, under the direction of Mrs. Jane Falgout ‘04, also worked on a collaboration with the Krewe of Houmas that incorporated skills the students were learning in class. They were tasked in designing the doubloon that would coincide with the krewe’s theme for this season “Vacation Destination.” Each student submitted a design that was first, hand-drawn, and then digitized in Adobe Illustrator. The winning design was selected after a collaboration meeting with Mr. John Casey ‘11 and a few design edits that would fit the needs of the krewe. Junior, Abigail Gremillion’s design was chosen and is now produced on the 2023 Krewe of Houmas doubloons.
John Casey ‘11, Krewe of Houmas Extravaganza Captain, stated,"For the first time, Krewe of Houmas is proud to partner with the Art Department at Vandebilt Catholic High School in designing our doubloon theme for the 2023 Mardi Gras season. We always look for ways to incorporate the community into our Mardi Gras traditions. We look forward to developing this program as a yearly student design project."
Abigail Gremillion, Graphic Design II student said, “My favorite part about this project was that we were each allowed to show our different perspectives of vacation destinations. I got to learn how it would be working in the ‘graphics world’ with clients and business partners. I think that getting feedback showed me what the client was envisioning and helped me better incorporate their ideas into the project.”
Emily Fleniken, Graphic Design II student said, “ I liked being able to work on something that was for the community. I learned that a lot of thought goes into making a design come to life. When we were on a zoom call with the client, he told us what he liked and what needed to be worked on.”
Jane Falgout ‘04, Graphic Design II teacher added, "I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase the creativity and hard work that this group of kids in Graphic Design II has to offer! I think it is an invaluable experience for them to work with a client, get feedback, and also contribute to their community. They definitely learned all about the process and dedicated time that goes into creating a piece of artwork for Mardi Gras that they may have taken for granted before."