Ramsey: Don Bosco Prep Offers Tribute to Former Longtime Faculty Member

04 Jan 2021

Photo credit: Don Bosco Prep

By Jennifer Passerino, P’15, ’20, Director of Events & Public Relations, Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ

(Ramsey, NJ) — It is with saddened hearts that Don Bosco Prep (DBP) announces the death of longtime former Don Bosco Prep teacher Vincent J. LaMotta, on November 29, 2020 in Wimauma, FL at the age of 80.

A long-serving colleague, he began teaching at Don Bosco Prep in 1965 and retired in 2002. A native of New York City and of Saint John’s University, LaMotta began his career at Don Bosco Prep as an English teacher and chair of the department, working primarily with the graduating senior class until he was asked to become vice-principal for students in 1981.

“Jake,” as he was referred to, was known throughout the school community as a man of strong intellect, impeccable character, and a devotion to his family and school that is rivaled by very few.

“When alumni return to visit their alma mater, they invariably inquire about Mr. LaMotta, a man whom they describe as a consummate educator and a gracious friend to the young men of Don Bosco Prep,” said Dr. James Scanlon, a longtime member of Don Bosco Prep’s faculty and administration. “His example as an educator in the tradition of Saint John Bosco continues to pervade our lives.”

LaMotta is remembered as being focused on finding the best ways to engage young people in the particularly unique charism of Don Bosco. “Vinnie had a unique rapport with his students, earning their respect while teaching them to appreciate classic texts from different cultures,” said Mr. Paul O’Connor. “His down-to-earth approach and wry sense of humor made his teaching accessible and joyful in a true Salesian spirit. Always fair and equitable, Vinnie recognized each student as an individual and treated each one in a similar manner.”

LaMotta became a trusted mentor to many faculty members throughout his years of teaching. “Vin became an excellent mentor and helped me understand what it is that makes a Don Bosco Prep education so invaluable and lasting for our students,” said Mr. Kevin Kilduff, longtime DBP faculty member. “I will be forever grateful to Vin for his friendship and unstinting assistance to me in my formative years as a teacher.”

“When I succeeded Vince as the English Department Chairman, he went out of his way to help with my transition into the role,” said O’Connor. “His professionalism, generosity of spirit, ever-present sense of humor, patience with his students, and Salesian spirit of amorevollezza defined his teaching philosophy and who he was as a person.”

Mr. LaMotta’s son, Dr. Vincent LaMotta, graduated from Don Bosco Prep in 1991.

Our prayers join those of the LaMotta family, as we remember him with great gratitude for his many years as a Salesian educator.