School: Elloree Elementary School
School District: Orangeburg County School District 3
City, State: Elloree, SC
Music that Describes Derrick
Dr. Derrick James was nominated by Sybrenda Holiday, a family member.
Dr. James is a phenomenal educator and principal! He loves every student, which is evident as he greets them at the front door most mornings with a big, exciting greeting. He has only been at Elloree Elementary for two years. In that time, the school report card rating went from below average to excellent!
Dr. James gives his personal money to his students, teachers, cafeteria and maintenance staff, and bus drivers. He visits his students if they're in the hospital and brings them special gifts. Before he came to his school, parent participation and involvement was minimal. Today, the school averages approximately 300 parents per event!
Dr. James supports his teachers and is often in the classroom with them, not only to observe, but to team teach and highlight their strengths in their subject area. One student in particular. who used to be a bully, has made a 180 degree turnaround to a very positive student. This student happily and boldly states, "I don't do bad things anymore because Dr. James believes in me and expects better from me."
For American Education Week, Dr. James allowed the students to serve as the principal, teachers, administrative assistants, guidance counselors, etc. He calls his cafeteria/culinary staff the, "Classy Cooks," and adorned them in personalized monogrammed aprons and chef's hats. On Facebook, he posts something positive and phenomenal about his school and its accomplishments several times a week. He is super excited about everything that goes on in his school, and he is always out front leading the way.