Life of a Brave: Bosco Alumnus, Mr. Derrick Fernando, Named Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

Mr. Derrick Fernando, alumnus of the Class of 2001, has served in a variety of roles at St. John Bosco High School, including as a teacher, coach, Dean of Students and Assessment Coordinator. He now plans to step into a new leadership role in the 2023-2024 school year. 

Photo by Megan Nash, Director of Digital Marketing & Social Media

St. John Bosco High School announced that Mr. Derrick Fernando, who currently serves as an upperclassmen English teacher and Assessment Coordinator, will be the new Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs in charge of academics needs and administration. In addition to his four years as a student, Mr. Fernando has served in the Bosco community for the last eleven years in various capacities. 

Mr. Fernando grew up in an active household in Downey. In the fall of 1996, Mr. Fernando stepped onto the campus of St. John Bosco and was involved throughout his four years in the basketball and volleyball programs. He was even involved in organizing a “Filipino Night” showcasing Filipino culture. 

He then attended Loyola Marymount University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing. In 2008, he received his Master of Arts in English from Loyola Marymount University and has spent the past 17 years as an educator at both the high school and collegiate levels.

Coming home to St. John Bosco in the Fall of 2012, Mr. Fernando has worked in the English Department, teaching World Literature, American Literature, British Literature and AP English Language and Composition at different points in his tenure. Mr. Fernando took a short break from the classroom when he was a Dean of Students from 2016-2018. 

On the sports side, he worked as an Assistant Freshmen and Assistant Varsity Coach for the basketball program and later as Head Junior Varsity and Assistant Varsity Coach for the volleyball program. 

In stepping into this new role, Mr. Fernando is focusing on the mission of continuing to develop a rigorous academic program at Bosco that brings continuity and cohesiveness in order to support teachers and students at all grade levels.

“My new role is to ensure I can provide any kind of support or development that professionals need, so our teachers are asking a lot for the kinds of support and opportunities to learn and grow that a growing and ever-evolving academic landscape would allow for,” said Mr. Fernando.

Mr. Fernando credits his time working in many leadership positions across his eleven years at Bosco having helped him be ready for this role, as he plans to lead the school with a new perspective to help many students with different backgrounds, especially at-risk students.

“In this new role, the same idea needs to apply from an academic perspective,” said Mr. Fernando. “By being able to work with students and to work with teachers to recognize that there’s something underlying that might cause an at-risk student to slip in their performance in class is another big part of that role.”

Mr. Fernando may be known for his classes being rigorous at a college level, but he has a softer side, too. He is a family man, a devoted husband of 13 years and a father to three beautiful children. With the inspiration of his family, he puts his heart and soul into St. John Bosco, recognizing the gifts that have been bestowed upon him and how he can use those gifts to benefit the futures of Braves for years to come.

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