NC welcomes Kennesaw mayor to staff


courtesy of Nadja Cook, KBA

Succeeding for 18 years in the Navy and four years serving as Kennesaw’s mayor, Derek Easterling begins his teaching journey at NC. As newly appointed Senior Naval Science Instructor: Lieutenant, Easterling’s vast experience in the military and his prominent leadership skills will enable NC’s NJROTC to grow as a unit this year while learning from Easterling. “Easterling has a very energetic personality so his class is always fast paced which allows everything to be completed in a timely manner,” junior Logan Wagner said.

Amber Roldan, Features Editor

Despite the unconventional start to the 2020-2021 school year, NC welcomed an inspiring new asset to the Warrior teaching team. By welcoming Kennesaw’s esteemed mayor Derek Easterling onto staff, NC enacted their memorable mantra of “inspiring excellence.” Easterling’s accepting the position of Senior Naval Science Instructor: Lieutenant allows NC’s NJROTC program to flourish. 

Easterling’s 18 years serving in the US Navy exceeded qualifications for the position. His years of serving the country, juxtaposed with his mayoral experience combined to create the perfect teaching resume. Although it does not constitute his first time teaching, the NJROTC position combines his passions of teaching and leadership, allowing him to relish the memories of his preceding naval career while exploiting his leadership skills.

Easterling’s NC teaching career began in an unprecedented way compared to previous years. Easterling faced more anxiety than traditional new NC teachers experience with the transition to strictly virtual learning. Adapting beautifully, Easterling overcame every obstacle thrown his way. From system crashes to glitching databases, Easterling quickly learned to add tech-savvy to his portfolio of charismatic characteristics. 

“Virtual classes are definitely challenging but it’s nothing that our unit won’t overcome. Easterling alongside his students is quickly adapting. Easterling’s passion and leadership skills make him a great leader,” NC NJROTC junior Logan Wagner said.

Before joining the teaching community at NC, Easterling joined the Navy in 1980 where he quickly rose to rank and received the prominent title of Lieutenant while emerging himself in the Naval Officer Indoctrination Course. After his Navy career ended in 1996, he furthered his passion for teaching and leadership while quickly becoming involved in the Kennesaw community.  Before accepting a position at NC, he taught Social Studies next door at Awtrey Middle school. Well versed in both the realm of teaching and military expertise, his vast knowledge in both areas allows his NJROTC students to truly receive an advanced, versatile education. 

Teachers and students alike happily welcome Easterling into Warrior Nation. They hope to learn from him about, not only the vast aspects of NJROTC but how to become a leader while serving one’s community.

It is my goal to be a leader in my community and empower the next generation of leaders by my actions and through teaching,” Easterling said in his LinkedIn profile.