After a lengthy search that began in November, the Thomaston-Upson County Board of Education has named Dr. Larry Derico as the finalist for the position of Superintendent of Thomaston-Upson County Schools. Dr. Derico, has twenty-four years of public education experience, and the past four years has served as Assistant Superintendent in the local school system. He has also been a teacher, assistant principal, and central office administrator.
Dr. Derico is a graduate of Columbus College with Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in both Social Science and in Middle Grades Education. He holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Troy State University and a Specialist in Early Childhood from Columbus College. In 2009, he received the Ed.D. in Education Leadership from South Carolina State University.
He began his educational career as an elementary teacher in 1994 in Meriwether County. From 2002-2005, he served as assistant principal at Upson Lee Middle School and Woodbury Elementary School. From 2005-2010, he was Director of Federal Programs in Thomaston-Upson Schools, and from 2010-2014 he was Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Since 2014, Dr. Derico has served as Assistant Superintendent. He is married to Vernecia Derico, and they have a daughter and a son.
Dr. Derico has been very involved in the local community. Currently, he is a member of Unite Upson, the Thomaston-Upson Development Authority, the Industry Roundtable and is a graduate of Leadership Upson. He is Past-President of the Upson County United Way and a former member of the Education Alliance Committee, the Upson County Board of Elections, and the Upson County Archives Board.
Dr. Derico and his wife are members of New Life Church. Through the church, he and his family are involved in numerous community ministries and services, to include Children’s Church.
Keith Rohling, Chair of the Board of Education, stated, “We are pleased to have someone of Dr. Derico’s experience and ability chosen to be our next superintendent. He has served the Thomaston-Upson County School System well for many years, has a record of successful leadership, and is committed to Thomaston-Upson County. We have had a very deliberate and thorough search process, and I appreciate how well the Board has worked together throughout this process.”
The naming of the finalist concludes five months of intense search activity by the Board of Education. With the help of King-Cooper and Associates, the position was advertised, thirty-seven applications reviewed, candidates screened, and lengthy interviews conducted. With the naming of the finalist, the Board must now wait at least fourteen days before taking an official vote to employ Dr. Derico.