April 11, 2019
Meet Mr. Vanegas
By José V.R. (7th Grade)
Mr. Vanegas was born and raised in Queens, NY to a Colombian mother and a Salvadoran father. He considers himself lucky to be the “baby” of the family, as he has one older brother. Mr. Vanegas received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College and his plan for the future is either to get his Master’s in Education or his PhD in Organic Chemistry.
In 2016, Mr. Vanegas volunteered at a school that serves the Mayan population in Tecpán, Guatemala. He went with a group of Lasallians from Manhattan College. He was so moved by the Lasallian mission and charism that he decided to join the Lasallian Volunteers program as soon as he graduated college. As a Lasallian Volunteer, he taught at San Miguel School from 2016 to 2018 for free. Now, he is finally a full-time, salaried employee of the school, but he still is equally moved by the mission to provide quality education here at San Miguel school.
Here is a Q&A with Mr. Vanegas:
Q: What is it like to teach at San Miguel this year compared to other years?
A: This year has been a much easier year because I have gained more experience in teaching since starting here three years ago.
Q: What inspires you about teaching students at San Miguel.
A: My students inspire me to continue teaching at San Miguel — their joy, their dedication, and their struggles push me to be a better teacher. Their success brings me a lot of joy, mostly because I enjoy seeing their hard work pay off in the end! They think I give them work to make their lives miserable (LOL) but, in reality, it’s because I have high expectations for them; I know they can do it, they just need a little push! To see each one of my students move on to the next big challenge (whether that’s in sports, in music club, in class, or in life) is truly a blessing, because I know they will win in the end.
Q: What are some of your goals for this year?
A: That’s tough. My personal goal is to try to incorporate a vegetarian diet into my daily routine (or at least a pollotarian diet). My professional goal is to research more procedures and routines to incorporate into my classes so that my students take EVEN more responsibility in the classroom. Additionally, I want my 7th graders to win the roller coaster competition for a 3rd year in a row!
Q: How does your teaching benefit your students and prepare them for the future?
A: WOW, what a question! I would like to think my teaching pushes students to think outside the box, to take risks when they think they can’t do something, and to ask questions when they’re stuck. That’s actually the biggest takeaway I want students to get — it’s okay to ask questions when you don’t know something! Stop trying to figure out life by yourself. You’ll get stuck in the same position forever if you wait for someone to come and help you!
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Vanegas, “Mister” [MC2016?]
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I do not find any thing in my ‘stuff’ for a ‘Mister Vanegas but I agree that 2016 is probably his year.
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]
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