Derrell is a trustee of We Can Do Better NJ, which supports school choice and a wide range of systemic reforms to improve education for all students. Success Academy charter schools of New York City recently invited Derrell to join its board of directors. Success Academy opened its first school in Harlem in 2006, serving 165 students, and today celebrates 22 schools serving more than 6,700 children.
Derrell has a long history working in the state’s education reform movement on policies such as tenure reform, teacher evaluation, interdistrict choice, charter schools, and opportunity scholarships for students underperforming schools and districts. Additionally, he served on Gov. Chris Christie’s Educator Effectiveness Task Force, which gave recommendations on designing a new, statewide evaluation system for teachers and leaders.
In 2011, Derrell was named to NBC’s “The Grio 100: History Makers in the Making,” and also received the Tri-County Scholarship Fund’s “Making a Difference Award.” In 2012, he was named an “Ed Reform Champion Under 40” by the Black Alliance for Educational Options. Derrell sits on the boards of Immaculate Conception (Montclair) and St. Anthony (Jersey City) Catholic high schools. Derrell appears frequently in print, radio, and on television to discuss and debate a wide range of education reform issues.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Derrell attended the St. Paul’s School For Boys and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.A. in English and creative writing.