A graduate of Bartlesville Sooner High School and Oklahoma State University, Derrel has proven career expertise in industry, education, technology, and public service.
Like many in District 11, Derrel has U.S. and international experience. With Schlumberger, an oilfield service company, Derrel worked in the oilfields of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wyoming as a field engineer, and as a manufacturing engineer and engineering project manager in Texas. He also served as an engineering manager at Schlumberger’s Japan research and engineering facility charged with producing first-in-the-world downhole tools. During this time, he earned a master’s degree in engineering from Utah State University.
Changing career directions, Derrel earned teacher certification and taught in three schools, beginning as a middle school mathematics teacher and then becoming a director of technology. Because he wanted to become a better teacher, he obtained a master’s degree in educational technology from Pepperdine University while teaching. In order to better serve more students and schools, he returned to Pepperdine and earned a doctorate in education.
Derrel has presented at conferences in Oklahoma, nationally, and internationally on research and practice in education. He was also the South America coordinator for the U.S. Department of State project for planning school continuity in the event an American overseas school had to temporarily close due to political events or natural disasters.
Derrel currently holds industry certifications in education technology leadership and project management, and has Oklahoma teaching certifications in elementary education and advanced mathematics.
Most recently, Derrel worked in several Oklahoma state agencies to help schools across the state improve classroom technology and their connection to the digital world. He also worked with health care providers to improve their ability to remotely deliver critical services to their patients.
Supporting that work were his leadership roles in the Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance and on the interagency Oklahoma Connect and Learn Initiative and his connections to other state agencies. Another asset was his collaboration with national organizations of educators and policy makers from all states, including work with the national State Educational Technology Directors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Governors Association. He also worked with federal agencies to advocate on behalf of Oklahoma schools and libraries.
Derrel’s wife of 40 years, Bridgette, is a thirty-one-year veteran of K-12 classroom teaching. She left the classroom to earn a doctorate from the University of Arkansas and is now an elementary science and mathematics university professor preparing future teachers. Derrel and Bridgette are proud parents and proud grandparents of their fifth-generation Bartian grandchildren, and they are active members of the First Presbyterian Church of Bartlesville.