Alumnus of the Year
The Vandebilt Catholic Alumnus of the Year award was founded to honor those with outstanding achievements, accomplishments, service and/or dedication to the school. In 2022, the school adopted a new nomination and selection process to further preserve, strengthen, and honor Vandebilt Catholic. The hope is that those selected as alumnus/a of the year will provide current students, staff, and community members with positive examples of the best that Vandebilt Catholic has to offer.
The Alumnus of the Year Award is given to a St. Francis de Sales High School, Houma Central Catholic High, or Vandebilt Catholic High School graduate who, through their outstanding achievements in their spiritual, professional, and civic life, have brought honor to themselves and Vandebilt Catholic, and whose contributions have had a broad and positive impact on others.
Nominations for the 2023 Alumnus of the Year will be open soon.
2022 Alumni of the Year
On June 3, 2022, during the VCHS President's Banquet, Dr. David '78 and Mrs. Laura Lapeyre Fakier '78 were honored as our 2022 Alumni of the Year.
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.
David and Laura epitomizes the qualities that a Catholic educational institution strives to instill in its students. They serve as a role model for young people, demonstrating ways that a Vandebilt graduate can make a difference in this world. Vandebilt Catholic High School is extremely proud to add to the accolades of David and Laura Fakier the distinction of Alumni of the Year 2022.
Alum of the Year - Past Recipients
|1977 Mr. Conrad Picou, Jr. ’60||2002 Mrs. Shirley Rome Watkins ’45|
|1978 Mr. David Keife ’67||2003 Mr. Leslie Daigle ’53|
|1979 Mr. Peter Broussard ’60||2004 Judge Randy Bethancourt ’71|
|1980 Dr. Bobby Haydel ’57||Mr. Ken Watkins ’47|
|1981 Mr. Ray Marcello ’40||2005 Dr. Ann Barker ’55|
|1982 Mr. Ronnie Haydel ’54||2006 Fr. Jay Baker ’79|
|1983 Mr. Lou Gehrig Burnett ’59||2007 Dr. Leo Hebert ’58|
|1984 Mr. John Schoonenberg ’68||2008 Mrs. Alexis and Mr. Berwick Duval ’73|
|1985 Dr. Dickey Haydel ’61||2009 Dr. John “Jay” Clune ’82|
|1991 Sr. Fatima Robichaux, MSC ’47||2010 Rev. Glenn LeCompte ’76|
|1992 Judge J. Louis Watkins, Jr. ’45||2011 Dr. Michelle Simon ’82|
|1993 Mr. Martin Folse ’78||2012 Mrs. Phyllis Peoples ’80|
|1994 Dr. Walter Benoit Comeaux, Jr. ’39||2013 Mrs. Laurie Calhoun Robichaux ’84|
|1995 Dr. Connie Lirette Casente, RN ’58||2014 Mr. Philip “Phe” McMahon ’83|
|1996 Ms. Leslie Johnson Van Osdale ’56||2015 Father André Melancon ’02|
|1997 Rev. Msgr. Philip Whitney ’39||2016 Mr. Robért LeBlanc ‘95|
|1998 Ms. Glenny Lee Castagnos Buquet ’54||2017 Sister Renee Daigle '81|
|1999 Mr. Eddie Pullaro ’61||2018 Mrs. Kerry Clune Diebold '86|
|2000 Ms. Tracy Duplantis ’23||2019 Mr. Steven Crispino '84|
|2001 Ms. Marian Hamilton ’72||2020 Brother Barry Landry S.C. '83|
|2021 Mr. Logan "Hank" Babin, III '88|
|2022 Dr. David Fakier '78 & Mrs. Laura Fakier '78|