By Reporter Amanda Roach
As soon as Daniel Derrick started teaching at McNairy Central High School, he knew his purpose: he wanted to mentor kids and impact their everyday lives. He wants his students to look back on their high school years and remember him as the fun agriculture teacher they will never forget. He wants his students to know where their basic needs come from, things like food, clothing and shelter. . “I want them to see and understand that every aspect of their life has to do with agriculture. In addition, I would like them to see the many career opportunities that the Agriculture sector has to offer. Also, I chose Agriculture because of how agriculture & FFA has impacted and helped me grow personally and professionally. I want to help students have that same experience,” said Derrick.
The one thing that Derrick says that stands out at McNairy Central High School is how MCHS is like a “close-knit family.”. Derrick has always wanted to be a teacher, that was his childhood dream. Derrick says “my biggest strength as a teacher is that I’m very good at building rapport with my students.” He enjoys it when one of his students finally understands something they are learning. In five years, Derrick sees himself still teaching and he hopes that he’s earned his master’s degree.
Derrick has one younger brother who is following in his footsteps and is majoring in education. He also has two dogs, Rusty and Bandit. Derrick attended Alcorn Central High School, graduating in 2013. He then earned an associate’s degree in agriculture and criminal justice from Northeast MS Community College. He worked for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce through an internship at Hinds Community College in 2015-2016. After that, he went to Mississippi State University to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Education.
In high school, Mr. Derrick was actively involved in a variety of clubs. He served as MS FFA State Vice President and later as MS FFA State President while at Northeast. He received the FFA State Degree and FFA American Degree, and was a charter member of the Collegiate FFA Chapter at Northeast. He continued that active involvement at MS State, and worked part-time at Rickman’s Meat Market.
This is his first year to teach full time, although he did sub for the Alcorn School District and North Tippah School District last year.
Derrick motivates his students by showing them how much he cares about them. He loves to walk into work with a smile on his face, ready to take on the day. He has set some goals for this year.
“I hope to increase participation numbers in FFA Competitions and FFA Degrees. I also would like to see MCHS placing in the top 5 of every contest we participate in.”
Derrick’s favorite quote is “Success isn’t just what you accomplish in your life, it is what you INSPIRE others to do.”