I have known Dr. Barbara Derrick since 1992 when I first became a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization for key women educators.
Through the years, Dr. Derrick has served in various chapter, area and state leadership positions in this organization. Dr. Derrick is revered and respected by thousands of teachers throughout the state of Texas who recognize her dedication to education, her commitment to excellence, her professionalism and her leadership qualities.
For 22 years, I have observed Dr. Derrick as she set and reached her personal and professional educational goals, from teacher to principal, from her superintendent’s certification to her doctoral degree in education.
After being at other, larger, more successful school districts, Dr. Derrick came back to her hometown, her alma mater, to provide leadership and direction, dedicating her expertise and energy to the children of Hitchcock.
For the past two years, Dr. Derrick has worked diligently in her position as superintendent of the Hitchcock Independent School District.
Dr. Derrick ensured that all school buildings were properly identified with new signage.
She oversaw the sale of various school properties and helped to consolidate some departments in an effort to save money for the district.
A new Teen Clinic is now housed on one wing of the Crosby Middle School.
The original high school cafeteria is now the Bulldog Bistro, which will provide the necessary culinary training and experience for our students and others to be successfully employed in the restaurant business in Galveston’s tourist industry.
Dr. Derrick continually showed her appreciation for the teachers of HISD with her numerous emails and thank you notes.
She brought in excellent motivational speakers, including Coach David Vince, author of “When Life Throws you Curves, Keep Swinging,” and Dr. Gary Schumacher of UH-Clear Lake.
She was very visible on our campuses and made several presentations during our faculty meetings. Dr. Derrick even personally served lunch to all the teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Dr. Derrick has recognized the achievements and successes of our students at districtwide pep rallies and board meetings. She also had campuses highlight special activities and accomplishments on our school district website on a regular basis.
Through a grant with College of the Mainland, she encouraged an increasing number of seniors to go to college. She wrote a grant that helped provide Christmas gifts to the families of 25 students at Stewart Elementary for the past two years.
She also led in the efforts to restore Big Red, our school’s mascot, as she tried to bring back the pride and traditions that once made Hitchcock ISD a strong, successful school district in Galveston County.
I want to thank Dr. Barbara Derrick for the significant difference she has made during her short tenure.
I want to encourage her to continue to dream and to look forward to the next opportunity she is given to make a difference in the lives of the children in Galveston County.
Denise Charlston is a teacher at Crosby Middle School in Hitchcock.