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The Double Life of Derek Vera

Haley Slussler


Derek Vera is well known for teaching forensic and environmental science. During school hours, you can see him in C309, educating students about science within our environment or using different types of evidence against a suspect in a court of law.

“This is my first year teaching Environmental and my 3rd year teaching Forensics,” Vera said. “In college, I majored in Criminal Justice and emphasized in Forensic Psychology. I try to bring that same energy and excitement to the classes I teach today.”

Vera’s upbeat attitude translates to his classes, with him cracking jokes during group conversations. This friendly atmosphere gives his students a unique experience when they are learning material or participating in labs. However, this goofy persona changes as the daylight fades, and is replaced with the voice of an upcoming musician.

At night, the lights are dim in his classroom and Vera is out and about, performing songs for listeners and spectators alike. He’s living a double life, like a superhero, except instead of saving the world he’s serenading it.

“I became a musician when I was in High School here at Seguin High, all those years back,” Vera said. “My good friend at the time brought his guitar to my house and showed me how to do bar chords for a few classic rock songs and I was immediately hooked.”

Ever since his early years as a musician, he’s performed at open mic nights in New Braunfels, San Marcos, and areas around Seguin. According to Vera, his audiences range from 20 or the max capacity of large business buildings. He juggles being a musician and a high school teacher, maintaining enough time to do both.

“I have just enough time for both, and I’m happy with that,” Vera said. “No matter what, I am always going to do music. I try to give all of myself to teaching and to those who need me. At the end of the week, when I am drained, music restores me.”

Vera will continue singing music to adoring audiences while working as a teacher. Music is his outlet to express himself, his anchor to keep him grounded in reality.

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