Desert Sands's Principal Lawson Award

Principal Lawson Award

Principal Lawson Award
Posted on 06/22/2020
Principal Derrick Lawson

Desert Sands Unified School District is pleased to announce that Indio High School Principal Derrick Lawson is to receive the highest honor from the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The award recognizes Lawson for his significant contributions to education throughout his career. A virtual ceremony will take place on July 20.

View awards ceremony here (Derrick is announced at the 47:30 mark)

Lawson is a desert native and an alum of the school he now leads as principal. He graduated as an Indio High School Rajah in 1980. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in educational administration from the California State University, San Bernardino. He began his teaching career at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in the Desert Sands Unified School District and has served as a math mentor teacher as well as project teacher at a number of schools including Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, and James Monroe elementary schools. He was principal at both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson elementary schools, serving as the administrator who opened LBJ. Lawson then opened Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School and four years ago returned to his alma mater as principal.

Lawson has received numerous awards throughout his years as a dedicated educator. He has been named a district teacher of the year and a county principal of the year. He was named a California Middle Grade Principal of the year in 2012 and was a NASSP Principal of Year Finalist for California. Active in ACSA (Association of California School Administrators), Lawson has served in various capacities at the local, state, and national level and has traveled to Washington DC on numerous occasions to meet with national leaders on issues of educational importance.

Principal Lawson finds his greatest passion in serving the children of this valley. He and his wife have two adult children who also received their education from Desert Sands Unified School District. He enjoys all things Disney and takes pleasure in nurturing, supporting, and mentoring students and new teachers and administrators.

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