Lopez, Derrick L.
Derrick's principal research interest is the practical implementation of federal educational policy at the local level. To study those implications, he has proposed an ethnographic, case study of the implementation of "Promise Neighborhood" federal policy in local communities.
Derrick currently serves as the first President/Chief Executive Officer of the Homewood Children's Village, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Homewood Children's Village is inspired by the highly acclaimed Harlem Children's Zone, which spawned the Promise Neighborhood Initiative at the federal level. As a comprehensive community initiative, the Homewood Children's Village partners with residents, faith-based organizations and community based organizations, local and state government, the public school system, and local and national funders to transform the educational, health, social service, and physical conditions of one of Pittsburgh's most challenged, yet most promising communities—Homewood.
In August 2007, Derrick moved his family to Pittsburgh to serve as Chief of High School Reform for the Pittsburgh Public Schools. In that role, he developed a comprehensive five-year roadmap to transform the secondary schools in the city of Pittsburgh. Implementing that roadmap and attempting to re-calibrate the instructional laser for both teachers and students, he then served as the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools, where he supervised the comprehensive high schools, serving grades 9-12, and the thematic learning communities that he and his team have co-designed, serving grades 6-12.
Before joining the Executive Staff in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Derrick, a licensed member of the State Bar of Michigan, served as the Principal of three Michigan secondary schools. Within his eight years of experience as a principal, Derrick worked in urban and suburban districts with students from different socio-economical, racial ethnicities and religious backgrounds. This experience is foundational to a practical understanding of what it means to design a system that works so that all children are successful.
Derrick received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Dartmouth College; a Juris Doctor cum laude from Cornell Law School; and a Master of Education from Marygrove College. He expects to complete a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Policy from Michigan State University in the spring 2013.