Coral Gables Senior High School has a distinct reputation for its “Cavaliers who never left”. Individuals who both attended Gables and returned to work there are part of what makes the school a unique place. Among these special few, Ms. Andrews, testing coordinator and alumna, plays an important role at Gables.
Having graduated in 1989, did Ms. Andrews initially plan to return back to the school she attended as a teenager?
“No, I actually did not. I wanted to be a social worker at first,” Ms. Andrews said.
After gaining experience, the alumna realized that social work was simply not the career path for her. After returning to school to earn a master’s degree in teaching, Ms. Andrews started a job at an elementary school where she worked with students on the autism spectrum and who had special needs.
Ms. Andrews felt that through working with special needs students she could incorporate her passion of advocating for children in need that she had hoped to pursue with her social work. Soon after, upon hearing that a position opened up at Gables, she was eager to return back to her Cavalier roots.
When she first returned to Gables, Ms. Andrews continued her work with special needs students, and later moved into co-teaching Physical Science, Earth Space Science and Biology. Her role as testing coordinator came about when the previous test chair moved up into administration and asked if she would be willing to take the spot. After much consideration, Ms. Andrews decided to take the position and has been there ever since.
Testing season, arguably the most hectic time during the school year, comes to fruition in the fourth quarter, bringing on stress for both students and staff. Luckily for Gables, Ms. Andrews has made the process run smoothly over the past few years.
“Ms. Andrews is the best testing chair we have ever had, she handles all the testing issues with ease patience and professionalism,” Activities Director Ms. Suarez said.
Of all the different academic tasks Ms. Andrews has been handed throughout the years, teaching has by far been her favorite. While she also enjoys the logistics of testing, her dedication to helping kids achieve their goals is what sets her apart from others.
Having seen Gables from both the perspective of a student and teacher, Ms. Andrews has made quite a few memories at the home of the Cavaliers. She fondly recalls the Booster Barbeque, a former fundraiser that was one of her favorite fall get-togethers. Hosted by the Football Booster club, the event included live music played by the Gables band and a performance from the renowned Gablettes. Ms. Andrews recollects that the highlight of the occasion was when a junkyard would donate a used car for the football team to demolish in the parking lot.
Now, her current favorite Gables tradition is the senior pep rally that the school band leads. Starting from the band room, the marchers travel throughout the school and gather seniors who emerge from classrooms and into the hallways to follow their lead. They all end up coming together, cheering and spreading school spirit. Ms. Andrews hopes the tradition will resume during the 2021-2022 school year.
After working at Gables for so many years, Ms. Andews has one message for the Cavalier family:
“Never forget Gables. One thing about Gables is we become a family…you’re never going to forget how that makes you feel,” Ms. Andrews said.
Gables appreciates all Ms. Andrews has done throughout her years of teaching. After joking that the school will be her home until she retires, Ms. Andrews will surely make her time at Gables and her students’ high school experience worthwhile.