Barker Donation for Cafeteria Renovations
On July 26, 2022, Vandebilt Catholic High School announced a charitable contribution to the renovations and improvements of the Vandebilt Catholic cafeteria in the amount of $500,000 from the Richard “Dickie” Barker Family. With this generous donation and the blessings of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, we will be able to begin the process of converting the facility to a more collegiate environment for our students and faculty. Upon completion, the facility will be renamed the Richard “Dickie” Barker Student Union, in honor of the patriarch of the Barker family here in Houma.
As part of the 2021 Terrier Blueprint, the redesign renderings by Duplantis Design Group for the cafeteria includes more flexible seating options, multiple serving stations, and space to use for gatherings and events. Recently, Vandebilt Catholic moved forward with the transition to running their own food services utilizing SYSCO products. They will begin the 22-23 school year with a menu that provides students with a variety of options, including healthy choices and a-la-cart items and snacks.
Richard Barker is the father of 8 children, all of whom attended Vandebilt Catholic High School; Lisa ‘74, Ann ‘75, Richard ‘77, Michael ‘78, Kelly ‘79, Keith ‘80, Brett ‘82, and Chris ‘85. Several of the Barker families have also extended the tradition of a Catholic education to their children and even fourth generation grandchildren.
Without donors, such as the Barker family, Vandebilt Catholic could not complete many of the much-needed projects on campus. The school’s commitment to constant improvement and developing strong donor partnerships is a perfect way to realize visions of an ever-improving environment for our students and future generations of terriers. We are so grateful for this partnership with the Barker family.
Official groundbreaking will be announced at a future date and time.
Mike Barker, on behalf of the entire Barker family, stated, “ Vandebilt Catholic High School has been a devotion of our father for decades. It is appropriate that this donation demonstrates the commitment to Vandebilt’s past and future administration, faculty and students.”
Jeremy Gueldner, VCHS President, stated, “The values of Vandebilt Catholic and the Barker family are the same… faith, family, and excellence. We’re honored for our student union to carry the name of Mr. Dickie Barker for generations to come. We believe that this updated student union will become the heart of our campus for students, faculty, and community members.”
2022 President's Banquet
On Friday, June 3, Vandebilt Catholic High School hosted the 2022 President’s Banquet in the Kolb center on campus. Jeremy Gueldner, VCHS president, presented awards for President’s 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.
2022 President's Distinguished Service Award Recipient
The 2022 President’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to Mr. Thomas Boudreaux. This award recognizes an individual who quietly works to help VCHS recognize its mission through volunteer work at the school.
Mr. Thomas “Tommy” Boudreaux was born and raised in Houma, Louisiana. He is the youngest of six children, all of whom attended St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School and Vandebilt Catholic High School. Tommy, a 1987 graduate, continued his education at Nicholls State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Management in 1991. Tommy and his wife of 30 years, April have four children; Luke, a 2021 VCHS graduate, Frances, a 2022 VCHS graduate, Paul, who is currently a sophomore at VCHS, and Luci, who is in seventh grade at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School. In 2005, Tommy founded his current company, Norris and Boudreaux Contractors, LLC, where for over 15 years, they have specialized in the construction and commercial service market. His most recent business endeavor began in 2020, when he purchased a sugarcane plantation, Thomas Boudreaux Farms, LLC. Tommy grew up in an agricultural household and continues these learned practices today including cash crops of produce, crawfish, and sugarcane.
Throughout his adult life, Tommy has served on multiple church parish councils including St. Charles Borromeo in Thibodaux and St. Lawrence in Schriever, as well as participating in many Man of God retreats and conferences held in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. He currently serves on the advisory committees for both St. Francis de Sales and St. Lawrence Catholic Churches. For the past 4 years, Tommy has served on the facility committee at Vandebilt Catholic, where he most recently helped tremendously in the recovery on campus from Hurricane Ida. With all four of his children involved in both team and individual sports, Tommy also dedicates much of his spare time to assisting in coaching or volunteering for many of these activities.
2022 Alumni of the Year
The 2022 Alumni of the Year Award was presented to Dr. David ‘78 and Mrs. Laura Fakier ‘78.
Dr. David and Mrs. Laura Lapeyre Fakier are both graduates of the Vandebilt Catholic class of 1978. After high school, both attended Louisiana State University, where Laura graduated in Medical Technology. After undergrad, David went to LSU Medical School in Shreveport and graduated in 1986. They married and moved to Connecticut in July of 1986. David completed his radiology residency and they moved back to Houma in July 1990, where David began working in the radiology department at Terrebonne General Medical Center.
David and Laura had three children: Edward, Mark, and Rebecca. Their daughter, Rebecca passed away in 2003 at just eight years old from neuroblastoma. Edward and Mark both attended St. Bernadette Elementary and graduated from Vandebilt Catholic High School in 2009 and 2011. David and Laura have remained active at both St. Bernadette and VCHS for many years.
In 2009, the family made their first mission trip to Haiti during Easter break. The trip was life changing and both David and Laura have been committed to Haiti Mission, Inc. (HMI) and the community that is served near Jeremie, Haiti ever since. They have served for 13 years as co-chairs of the Bec’s Annual Haiti Mission Silent Auction, in honor of their daughter Rebecca and have raised over 1.2 million dollars. All money raised is utilized to support home building, currently employing 70 Haitian men and building four homes per month.
Their passion for this mission grew each year and in 2011 David and Laura began leading mission groups to Haiti, trying to make a minimum of three trips a year. Since 2009, HMI has been able to take more than 100 teenagers to Haiti, a number of which are VCHS graduates. This June, they will lead their twenty-seventh group to Haiti which will include eight VCHS alumni.
Since moving to New Orleans, David and Laura have become active in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. They will make their third mission trip with members of the parish in November 2022. They also have become a marriage prep mentor couple for the parish and David currently serves as the Pastoral Council President.
After 32 years of practice in Radiology, David plans to retire at the end of June, which should provide some extra time for additional mission trips each year for both he and Laura.
Read more on the Alumni of the Year Award and List of Past Recipients.
2022 Hall of Fame Inductees
Brother Ronald Hingle, provincial of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart accepted the 2022 Hall of Fame Induction award on behalf of Brother Anthon Miklic.
Brother Anthon (Francis Joseph) Miklic, S.C. was born in Tuscaloosa, AL. He entered the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in Metuchen, NJ in 1935 pronouncing first vows in 1937 and making final profession in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in 1943.
Brother Anthon probably had very few childhood memories that did not involve the Brothers. At only nine years old, Brother Anothon’s mother died and he was placed in foster care. In 1926, he arrived at the Boys' Industrial School (BIS), an institution in Mobile, AL, conducted by the Brothers. He continued at McGill Institute and remained there until he entered the Brothers of the Sacred Heart community in Metuchen, NJ, in December 1935. During his years at BIS, Brother Anthon came into contact with those Brothers whose good example and influence helped develop in this young man many of the enviable characteristics that emerged in his later life: energy, initiative, discipline, a love of work, kindness, and helpfulness.
It was during these same years at BIS and McGill Institute that Brother Anthon became an accomplished musician and a star athlete. Well over 6 feet, he starred in football while in high school winning All-State honors as a lineman for the McGill Yellow Jackets of Mobile, AL. In later years his love for athletics led him to golf and he liked nothing better than to use his strength to drive the ball "a country mile" down the fairway. His strengths were not restricted to things physical. While in high school, he also studied music under the perfectionist, the late professor Joseph H. Taverna, M.M., and became an accomplished clarinetist.
From his start as an elementary teacher for 8 years in Brooklyn, N.Y., Huntington, N.Y., and the Bronx, N.Y., to a four-year assignment at St. Aloysius in New Orleans, Brother Anthon demanded the same perfection of his students that he himself exhibited. Although he did not get a master's degree until he was 53 years old, he had a lifelong admiration for learning. Much of his leisure time was spent reading.
One of the happiest periods of Brother Anthon's life was the seventeen years he worked in Kenya and Uganda. He taught English, which was the most difficult subject to teach in African schools. To teach it required a tough-minded person who would give unstintingly of himself in correcting and making students revise and rewrite. Brother Anthon’s students would see much success from his disciplined classroom.
Brother Anthon completed his fifty year teaching career at Vandebilt Catholic High School in his "beloved" Houma, Louisiana, from 1973 until he retired in 1988 to Mobile where he died at the age of 78 after some months in a nursing home when his needs became too great for the Brothers in his local community to care for him adequately.
Brother Anthon was a serious, hardworking individual with a strong and sturdy constitution. He was a simple man in whom there was no guile. He was down to-earth, and at times rigid. He liked everything in clear-cut terms with no subtleties whatsoever.
Brother Anthon was a dependable and conscientious brother, totally committed to his community. His religious life is an example for us of one who offered to God all that he had to carry out the Christian education of youth.
Dr. Fritz Rau, along with his 5 sons, accepted the 2022 Hall of Fame Induction award on behalf of his late wife, Mrs. Rhoda Rau.
Mrs. Rhoda Ann Guillot Rau was born in Houma, LA and grew up downtown on Maple Ave. She attended St. Francis de Sales School and was a member of the only class to attend Houma Central Catholic High, later known as Vandebilt Catholic High from grades 7-12. While attending Vandebilt Catholic, Rhoda was a member of the drill squad, and was crowned Homecoming Queen before graduating in 1971.
After graduating, Rhoda worked in the insurance industry and married Dr. Fritz Rau ‘71, her highschool sweetheart in July 1975. They moved around during his medical training and settled back in Houma in 1983. Rhoda then began to raise her five boys; Dr. Brian ‘97 (Teri), Dr. Jeremy ‘99 (Lori), Dr. Jeffrey ‘00 (Katelyn), Dr. Nicholas ‘03 (Jenny), and Patrick ‘06 (Monica). All five boys were raised with a Catholic education, all attending St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School and Vandebilt Catholic High School. Rhoda has 15 grandchildren, 12 of which continue to carry on the tradition and currently attend St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School and Vandebilt Catholic.
Rhoda was well known for her involvement in every school sport or activity. She was an avid Vandebilt Catholic fan. Rhoda was a devoted mother and grandmother and was very involved in the community. She participated in the medical auxiliary, carnival, bereavement committees, school functions and class reunions. Her outgoing personality and involvement in the community resulted in a vast network of friends and acquaintances. Rhoda never met a stranger.
Rhoda passed away after a short battle with cancer in 2019. Her legacy continues through the Rhoda Ann Guillot Rau Foundation which was established in her honor to assist special needs children in a faith based learning program at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School.
The 2022 Hall of Fame Induction award was presented to Mr. Michael Barker '78.
Mr. Michael “Mike” Barker was born and raised in Houma, LA. After graduating from Vandebilt Catholic in 1978, Mike attended Louisiana State University and Nicholls State University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business in 1983. Soon after, Mike entered the automotive business as a salesman at Terrebonne Ford. He then transitioned to Sales Manager. In 1990, he opened Barker Mitsubishi as Dealer Principal and in 1995 added Barker Kia. In 2000, he purchased Barker Buick GMC and Barker Honda, where he currently holds the position of Dealer Principal for both dealerships.
During his 39 years in the automotive industry, Mike has earned countless accolades and served on many boards at the local, state and national levels. He currently serves on the Louisiana Dealer Services Inc. - Executive Board of Directors, New Orleans Buick/GMC LMA - Treasurer, Buick GMC National Fixed Operations Board, National Dealer Council, and the Louisiana Honda Dealers Advertising Association - President. Some of the awards earned for Barker Buick GMC include Standards for Excellence (multiple award winner) and GMC Leaders of Distinction (multiple award winner.) At Barker Honda, some awards earned included the Honda President's Award Elite, Honda President's Award (multiple award winner,) and Honda Financial Council of Excellence (multiple award winner.) In 1999, Mike earned the All-Star Dealer Award for Exceptional Community and Industry Service, which is given at the American International Dealers Association (AIADA) Gala in Washington, D.C.
Along with being a stand-out businessman, Mike has always been dedicated to giving back to the community. Over the years, he has been a Kiwanis Club member, served on the Board of Directors for Houma Chamber of Commerce, and the Morgana Action Coalition. His dedication can also be seen in his sponsorships of local awards and programs, such as the Woman’s Business/Alliance Athena Award and as a corporate sponsor for the Terrebonne Parish NAACP for the past 24 years. He is a 1995 graduate of the Leadership Terrebonne Program and has also beesn an active member of the Krewe of Houmas for 35 years. He has also served the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in a number of roles including Cemetery Trust, Pastoral Council Vice Chairman, Legatus Vice President and also served on the strategic plan executive committee.
Mike has been married to his wife and VCHS 1979 alumna, Angelique for 38 years. They are the parents of three children, Michael Jr. ‘06 (Jamie), Michell ‘07 (Zuna), and Allyson ‘12. They also have 5 grandchildren.
Read more on the Hall of Fame Induction award and List of Past Recipients.