BL Spotlight

The Life of Mr. Derrick Thomas

On September 22nd, 1966 in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, Jamaica, the Boys’ Latin Upper School Technology Coordinator, amazing teacher and incredible photographer, Mr. Derrick Thomas was born.  Mr. Thomas has been an employee at Boys’ Latin since 2006, and he has encouraged, taught, and inspired many students during the nine years through his hard work, dedication, and love for the school.

Unlike any of the upper school teachers and employees at BL, Mr. Thomas is not originally from the United States; he is from Jamaica.

When asked, Mr. Thomas was very open to answering some questions about his interesting past and present.

Below is the interview that was conducted:

What was your childhood like? 

“I was born on the sugar plantation, where my grandfather served as a laborer.  So, my father worked at the sugar estate also.

My three brothers and one sister lived with my mother who was a house wife while my father worked two jobs on the plantation.  When I was 11 years old, my father acquired a business in the city.

We then moved from the plantation to the township and started a grocery shop that became very successful.  It was actually so successful that it got me and my siblings through college and took us out of poverty.”

When did you come to the US, and why did you come here?

“After serving 17 years at St. Augustine’s College in the Bahamas, so many people asked me why I would leave that place for the snow and cold weather!  They have to understand the background and the political implications of the Bahamas.  I was not a citizen of the Bahamas, and the opportunities that my sons, my wife and I had there were very limited.

Also, in terms of getting older, the health care is not the best, the social infrastructure is not the best, and the only college there is community college. So, realizing all of that, my wife’s father filed for us to get a green card.

So, we accepted the invitation to come to America, and in 2005, we packed up and moved here.

When did you come to Boys’ Latin?

“My first year in the States, I served one year at a school in Upper Marlboro as an IT Manager, and it wasn’t the best experience.  So, we got very frustrated, and then I heard that Boys’ Latin was hiring.

My wife also worked at the school in Upper Marlboro, but she left and accepted a job at Annapolis Area Christian School.  So, I decided to leave too and apply for a job at Boys’ Latin.

I came here for an interview, and it was successful, and I started working here in 2006.”

Are you happy with the decision to come to Boys’ Latin? Why or why not?

“I couldn’t have found a better place for myself and my sons.  I have two sons here (Theodore 10th, Matthew 8th), and this small community is like a family.  My boys are enjoying their experience here, and as for me, I couldn’t find a better place to work.  Boys’ Latin is like a home to me.

I love this place, and I love my colleagues.  I am looking forward to working plenty more years here.”

Categories: BL Spotlight