Matthew Vandegrift
1st Lt. Matthew Vandegrift

Opened in the fall of 2009, Leander ISD’s fifth high school — Vandegrift High School — is named after 1st Lt. Matthew Ryan Vandegrift, a Leander High School honors graduate (Class of 1999) who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq in April 2008.

1st Lt. Vandegrift grew up in the Steiner Ranch subdivision and later graduated with honors from Texas A&M University. He participated in extracurricular activities and demonstrated the highest character, plus a devotion to service demonstrated by his enlistment into the U.S. Marine Corps.

Each year, the school holds Valor Day to remember the legacy of 1st Lt. Vandegrift and embrace the school’s traditions, rich with symbolism — for example, the school’s crest is modeled after 1st Lt. Vandegrift’s unit patch.

More on VHS traditions and how they connect to the life of 1st Lt. Vandegrift.