“Coach” Vegas retires from Vandebilt Catholic after 40 years
Vandebilt Catholic High School announces that Luigi Vegas has retired after dedicating forty years of teaching and mentoring to the students and faculty of Vandebilt Catholic.
Mr. Luigi Vegas was reared in a very close-knit family in the small community of Grand Isle. His parents, Herbert and Helen Vegas, instilled values that led to his formation into a dedicated, caring individual with integrity. In addition to spending many of his early years as an altar server, Luigi has been affiliated with Catholic education for forty years in several capacities.
After teaching in his hometown for two years, Luigi joined the Vandebilt Catholic faculty in 1980 and has been an integral part of the Science Department since. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from Nicholls State University, Mr. Vegas worked on his Master of Education degree while coaching and teaching science, physical education, and driver education. “Coach Vegas,” as he is affectionately called by former and current students alike, has worked with student athletes in basketball, football, and track at VCHS.
Science Department Head at VCHS for over two decades, Luigi has taught earth science, physical science, biology, and anatomy and physiology. He has also worked with students as moderator of the 4-H Club, the sophomore class, and the senior class. He has enjoyed sharing his faith with senior boys on annual weekend retreats. Luigi has also given to the Vandebilt Catholic family by using his gift of music. He has played his guitar and sung for countless school Masses and other functions such as plays and talent shows at the school. Luigi regularly participates in school Masses as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. For his contributions to the education of the whole child, Vandebilt Catholic honored Luigi with the Brother Alfred Kolb Teacher of the Year Award in 2001, for which he was nominated by his peers. He has also been the recipient of an inspirational teacher award from Nicholls State University, receiving the nomination from his former students as someone who made a difference in their lives.
Luigi has served as a master teacher at Vandebilt and has supervised classroom instruction not only for the Science Department but also for the entire school. He was inducted into the Vandebilt Catholic Hall of Fame in 2008 and his most recent honor was for the second time, the Brother Alfred Kolb Teacher of the Year award in 2019. He continues to be a role model to students, and still finds innovative ways to keep students engaged in his classroom. Mr. Vegas is widely recognized in VCHS circles for his teaching methods that customarily inject humor into his lessons. His vast knowledge and entertaining approach to teaching has made him a candidate for various presentations to the Vandebilt faculty and at workshops for educators in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and schools in the New Orleans Province of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
As a contributing faculty member at Vandebilt, Luigi has served on a number of committees including faculty advisory, discipline, academic, Strategy for Progress, and SACS. Additionally, Luigi has served on SACS evaluation committees for other Catholic schools in the area. Luigi and his wife of nearly thirty-three years, Lisa, raised their two sons in the Catholic school system, both attended St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School and Vandebilt Catholic. Danté (1989-2019) graduated from Vandebilt Catholic in 2007 and Dominic, 2012. Luigi served on the St. Francis school board on the facilities committee and served one year as vice president; he also worked for the annual barbecues at the school. Prior to joining St. Francis parish, Luigi was a member of Maria Immacolata Church, where he participated in several capacities as a music minister. He has also served the community by teaching Red Cross CPR classes. In 1985, Luigi recorded a song that received regional publicity, and he generously donated the proceeds from the record sales to victims of Hurricane Juan and to the Louisiana Chapter of the Hemophilia Society.
The Vandebilt Catholic community is blessed to have worked alongside Luigi Vegas for forty years, and he epitomizes the qualities that a Catholic educational institution strives to instill in its students. The faculty and students want to thank Coach Vegas for her dedication and support of Vandebilt Catholic throughout the years and wish him nothing but the best in his next chapter.