About Derek



Current Director of Innovation and Learning for Grady County Schools, Derek has over 20 years experience as a middle school principal, assistant principal and middle school math teacher. He’s been very fortunate to have been part of difference-making teams and schools that have helped learners and teachers grow and achieve in rural, urban, low-income learning environments.

He embraces his mission to create learning environments that serve learners and help adults change practice and beliefs and skill sets to meet the needs of schools. 


In 2014, Derek was recognized as a National Digital Principal of the Year. As an active PLN builder in NC, he was named 1 of 25 to Follow on #NCED. He has also spoken about middle schools on a White House panel in 2018.

The Revolution is Here!

The Revolution is a resource to help school and educators shift to learner centered practices. It has a message of change and possibility for all K-12 educators and parents about what school can/should be for learners. Derek is the proud co-author and shares with others on how we can change schools.


  1. Hello sir. I have been an Assistant Principal for a year and I recently started a new podcast that is devoted to dynamic educational leaders. This show is also dedicated to assisting new administrators with the transition to the principalship. I’ve read your blog post on this topic and I think you’d be a great asset to my podcast. Would you be interested in being a guest on my show? The podcast can be found at principallyspeaking.com and I am MrJasonBodnar on Twitter. Thank you!

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