Washington Capitals May 2022 Teacher of the Month
Derrick Blackwell Sr
Matthew Henson Middle School
Tell us about yourself!
As an Army Veteran, I am also a graduate of DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management. I obtained my AAS of Electronics and Computer Technology, BS of Technical Management, MBA and MPM (Masters of Project Management). As a Contractor working for General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), I was the Move Project Coordinator for a DOD Contract for 8 years and Software Test Engineer for 4 years. I found I had a gift of teaching when I was tasked with leading a CompTIA study course in an effort to get our onsite GDIT staff Security + Certified. I read the Meyers book and developed a training course which we met 1 hour everyday for study. Achieving the goal, I became an Adjunct Professor at Stratford University whereas I taught Computer Science, Project Management, Business Management and Introduction to Collegiate Writing for 5 years. I currently teach Computer Science at Matthew Henson Middle School (6th – 8th grade) located in Indian Head, MD where I have been for 3 years now. I decided to teach as I love to learn and to share that knowledge with others. While I could’ve stayed at the collegiate level, I wanted to challenge myself to teach the same to the younger students and give them a head start on knowledge to grow on. What I love most about teaching is getting each individual student to their “Ah, Ha Moment,” as I call it. Moreover, I take pride in knowing I am have taken on a vital role to ensure the success of each student now, while preparing them for their future. Community Service is very important to myself and my family! My wife and I have 7 wonderful children and 4 wonderful grandchildren. We love going into the various shelters (Men’s and Women & Children) in Prince George’s County to converse, feed and provide clothing for the residents. We also do the same for those who are homeless and out in the streets at their own preference. Though we do provide from our personal finances when required, most funding comes from M& E BBQ Inc.(www.mandebbq.com), our not for profit BBQ Catering and Competition Team business. There is nothing like caring and providing assistance for others who may feel no one else cares. Seeing the smile on the face of others when you bless them, warms our hearts!
Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?
My favorite NHL players are Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) and Quinton Byfield (Los Angeles Kings). Both are my favorites as they both show and teach persistence in achieving our goals, dreams and aspirations. Moreover, both are active within various communities and charities.
What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?
I truly love how the Future Goals program teaches the students STEM in an interactive and fun manner. I have had many students tell me they dislike math. However, they love the Future Goals programs. When I go through the review of the Future Goals program lessons, I explain to all students how they have used math, science, and engineering to accomplish each lesson. Explaining this to students has increased their self-confidence in the subjects and has assisted with improving their grades within those class subjects.
If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?
If I played hockey, I would play the position of Centerman. I would play the position of Centerman as I would be instrumental in pushing the team forward towards the opposing goal while at the same time, being able to reach back and assist the Goaltender when needed. Just as I do in the community with my family.