Meet Kevin Derr
Younger children attend Holland Heights with their older siblings, but that’s only the “running start” that creates a feeling of family in the building, says Principal Kevin Derr.
A dedicated group of 30 teachers who know and can nurture students’ individual learning styles also contribute to the sense of a close-knit school community, Derr says.
“In December, we had a Santa’s Workshop where our seventh graders helped our kindergarteners make gifts,” Derr said. “Our third graders also have kindergarten Reading Buddies. These cross-grade activities build leadership skills in the older students, and give younger students individual attention. Students love it.”
Overcoming facility challenges
In the summer 2011, Holland Heights got $5 million in additions and renovations to equip it to better serve its purpose as a K-7 building.
A multipurpose room was constructed to take pressure off the gymnasium, which had doubled as a cafeteria and was the only space roomy enough to hold all-school assemblies.
A new security-conscious entrance and enhanced kitchen facilities were constructed. The school also got a technology upgrade.
“Families like improvements they see in our building,” said Derr, whose own three children attend, or have attended Holland Heights.
Derr was raised in Holland and graduated from Holland High School in 1983. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, Derr returned to his hometown and taught social studies at Holland High. Five years ago, he moved into school administration, serving as assistant principal and interim principal at West. Superintendent Brian Davis tapped Derr to become principal at Holland Heights when the school became a K-7 for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Derr also serves as Holland Public Schools’ middle grades athletic director. Away from school, he coaches youth football and baseball. He is also an avid Dallas Cowboys football fan.
The Derr family’s favorite vacation is to the California theme park Legoland, where Derr’s brother, Todd, manages attractions and grounds.
Contact Derr by calling 494-2750, or email him at email@example.com