Alumnus & Teacher: Natalie De La Vega


De La Vega teaches her students about DNA replication. Her two sons are larger-than-life as her screensaver.

Sydney Scanlon, Alumni Editor

Biology teacher, Natalie De La Vega has been teaching at Gables for the past seven years. However, it was not her first time on campus. Previously, De La Vega attended Gables for four years of high school. She has since attended Central Michigan, graduated from Florida International University, married her high school boyfriend, and had two children.

Once out of college, De La Vega did not have an existential crisis on where she belonged, she knew it was sports. She exclaimed throughout her Gables years that sports were her “favorite thing.” She was a member of the Softball team throughout her time at the school. Unsurprisingly, since her return, she took on the responsibility of being softball and volleyball coach with her younger sister, Monica De La Vega, who also attended Gables. She claimed that despite being the same school and same sport, the atmosphere surrounding athletics has gone through many changes, especially with how the athletes are treated. According to De La Vega, athletes have higher expectations for themselves, and of others, and stricter punishments.

“I would say back in the days we were allowed to flaunt that we were athletes, we got away with a little more. Nowadays, they are much more regulated on the athletes. They have to follow the same rules as the students,” De La Vega said.

Behavior towards athletes is not the only change De La Vega has noticed. She believes there was also a higher emphasis on all sports as opposed to the football-centric current atmosphere. The pep rallies highlighted and celebrated other sports besides just football, as other teams were invited on stage and cheered on. With nostalgia, she said that the pep rallies were held with a lot more energy and excitement than today’s.

“We had awesome pep rallies that weren’t just for football players. The volleyball team was involved in the pep rally. My team was always on stage. […] now its just football,” De La Vega said.

Fifteen years ago, the Ralph Moore Building (New Building) was nonexistent, it was a drivers-ed parking lot; there were portables to make up for less classroom space. But overall, the most striking similarity is the building, “its exactly the same,” having gone through limited renovations since 1950. The students have also seen a shift since De La Vega’s years in high school. She believes the youth of today are lazier, than in past generations.

“When we were in high school we were much more responsible, much more reliable, more trustworthy than I think kids these days,” De La Vega said.

Despite some changes being conceived as negative to De La Vega, a large segment of her life has been dedicated to Gables. She has seen its evolution through the years all the while with incredible school spirit and support.