Derek was one of 13 students in the first class of Warren-Walker Middle School in 2000 when the Middle School was being held at NTC in Point Loma. He says 7th & 8th grade “were formative years, like going to camp each day...NTC was a unique setting.” He went on to graduate from Point Loma High School in 2005 and earned a degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2009.
After graduation, Derek stayed in Santa Cruz to teach music and skateboarding, his two passions. And though he still teaches both, his full-time job is as a musician, playing lead guitar and back-up singer in the band Pacific Roots, a reggae rock band. One of five members, the band has opened for UB40 and many other bands. They recently completed their headline tour of the Western half of the United States. Just prior to the tour, they released their new album, Still Standing, which has gained favorable attention. To hear more about the band, visit their website, Pacific Roots Music.com or their Facebook page, Pacific Roots. Presently, he is in a relationship with Stacey, an Operating Room Nurse at a Santa Cruz Hospital.
Derek fondly remembers his favorite WWS teacher, Mr. Pashkow, because he related well to the students and made learning fun. He remembers his Science Fair Project - creating a durometer for skateboard wheels - and he presented his project at the San Diego County Fair. He also remembers the 8th Grade New York/DC trip. His two best friends at WWS were Ian Green and Mark Coviello both with whom he stays in regular contact.