Danette Derickson started at Liberty Traditional School eight years ago and now, through diligent efforts, has worked her way to the top. The Humboldt Unified School District governing board unanimously approved Derickson's appointment as principal at its April 8 meeting.
More than 20 people applied for the position, said Dan Streeter, HUSD director of Human Resources, with four candidates reaching the interview stage.
Supt. Paul Stanton thanked Michael DeRois, Liberty's principal for the past 10 years, for his energy, time and leadership while at the helm. DeRois started as a teacher at Liberty in 1995 when it had an enrollment of about 75 students. This year it's grown to more than 800 students.
Derickson began her teaching career at Friendship Christian Schools in Hawaii in 1994. In 2006, she started at Liberty Traditional School where she taught first and fifth grades and sixth grade science. During the past four years she's been a mentor/lead teacher, Child Study leader, and instructional coach.
In the 2013-2014 school year, she stepped into the role of assistant principal through a teacher-on-assignment basis for both Liberty Traditional and Glassford Hill Middle School.
"It's evident she has prepared extremely well over the years for this position at Liberty," said board president Rich Adler.
Derickson earned the Arizona K-12 Master Mentor Teacher designation this past year, was a district VIP certified employee of the month, received the 2010 K-3 Yavapai County Teacher of the Year, and was the Liberty Teacher of the Year for 2008, 2010, and 2012.
The proposed contract indicates that Derickson will enter the elementary school principal salary schedule on Step 1 with a master's degree, earning $62,750. She also will receive a $2,000 stipend for additional middle school duties, as did DeRois.