Teaching is a second career for Derek, as he started working for IBM in Atlanta at the onset of his career. Once he realized that his love of teaching and working with young people predominated his desire to ascend the corporate ladder, transitioning into the field of education was a difficult, but rewarding career change.
As a lifelong lover of literature and communication of all kinds, teaching English and composition is Derek’s primary responsibility. Throughout the course of his career Derek has taught a variety of classes in a variety of settings. He began his teaching foray as a corps member for Teach for America in Atlanta, and taught English and Journalism at Grady High School. A move to Athens allowed him to teach English at Winder Barrow High School, and now at Oconee County High School.
Derek’s journey into education also rekindled his love for the game of tennis. As the head boys and girls coach, he has guided multiple teams in Winder and Oconee to the state tournament, and both his Oconee girls and boys tennis teams reached the final four of the state tournament in 2015.
Per O.C.G.A. §20-2-84.3, no later than June 30, 2015, each local school system must notify the Georgia Department of Education that it will operate as one of the following:
- Investing in Educational Excellence School System (IE2) (now referred to as Strategic Waivers School System – SWSS/IE2)
- Charter System
- Status Quo School System
The Jefferson City School System Board of Education has spent a considerable amount of time examining the flexibility options to determine the best approach to meeting the individualized needs of our students. A letter of intent to become a Charter System was submitted to the Georgia Department of Education in May 2014; however, after further study, the Board has made the decision to operate as a Strategic Waivers School System (SWSS/IE2).
An SWSS/IE2 System is a local school district that operates under the terms of a performance contract between the State Board of Education and the Local Board of Education. The system receives flexibility in the form of waivers of certain state laws, rules, and guidelines in exchange for greater accountability for increased student achievement.
SWSS/IE2 contracts are intended to provide local school districts with the flexibility needed to increase student achievement. Becoming a Strategic Waivers School System/IE2 will enable Jefferson City Schools to have more flexibility in providing innovative educational programs and experiences that lead to higher standards of academic performance.
Community input is vital and becomes an important part of the process in seeking approval to become an SWSS/IE2 System. The Jefferson City School System hosted a Public Hearing on January 26, 2016 to present information about the SWSS/IE2 application process and to seek feedback from community members.
If you have questions, need additional information, or would like to provide feedback, please contact:Dr. Donna R. McMullan
345 Storey Lane
Jefferson, Georgia 30549