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Jose and Maria Luisa Vega lived in McKinney from 1950-1959. During that time they started a church in 1950 and a day care center in 1951. The purpose of both was to help Mexican immigrants who were isolated from the rest of the community. At the time Mexican immigrants lived on the other side of the railroad tracks and were completely separated from the Anglo community. The Mexican community had no running water, inadequate food supply, and no care for the children.
Children were left alone at home or with older siblings not much older than themselves. This, along with the inability to speak English kept the children home from school. The Vegas saw a need for a nursery school and were able to solicit help from the community.
Jose Vega was a minister in the Episcopal Church and together he and his wife started the Church of the Holy Family in 1950. Next, they started the day care center, which was known as “La Escuelita,” or “the Little School.” The school was later known as Holy Family School as it is still known today. The school helped to integrate the Mexican immigrants with the Anglo community because English and American ways of living were taught.
Many of the children who attended this school have grown up to become successful doctors, lawyers, and political figures in the community.
When notified of the school naming, the Vegas expressed that they feel honored. Former students gave personal testimony about the impact the Vegas had upon their lives to the naming committee of MISD. These testimonies were so powerful the committee overwhelming accepted the Vegas as a selection for a school naming.
Source of information: McKinney Courier Gazette, March 10, 2002. Story by Dalana Bewley