Gabbert transitions well into Derby High


Chloe Brown, Design editor

Assistant principal Corey Gabbert has started his first year at Derby High School. Although Gabbert is not a Derby graduate, his excitement and pride for Derby is still strong.

“I obviously grew up in Rose Hill, so I’ve always known about Derby and kind of (the) fine commitment to education,” Gabbert said.

Gabbert taught for 14 years at various schools and then worked as the assistant principal and athletic director at Rose Hill Middle School for four years.

“The reason I got into administration was because I had been teaching for a long time and I felt real comfortable.” Gabbert said. “… And I felt like it was time for the next step to move from more in the classroom stuff to more staff and student-type duties, so just a progression of the career that is education at the secondary level.”

He loves his job and was ready for change to become part of Derby, partially because of the high school environment.

“I’ve been in the high schools and out of high schools, so I’ve been at both levels, so I was excited to have the opportunity to get back to the high school and work with high school kids again,” Gabbert said.

He already enjoys it at Derby.

“All the staff and all the teachers have been great. I’ve been learning a lot from all the teachers that I’ve primarily been associated with and I’ve been learning a whole bunch from (principal Tim) Hamblin and the other administrators, (Jeromy) Swearingen, (Shane) Seeley, and (Allison) Strecker and (Robert) Ash, so they’ve been helping really kind of get used to everything and helping me know what to do when it comes to procedures and policies,” Gabbert said.

He is looking forward to the year but has already had a huge surprise.

“The most surprising thing has been just the number (of students). Passing periods — wow. The morning before everyone goes to Block 1 or Block 6 — wow. Just the sheer number, just whenever everybody gets together, oh, that first pep assembly when you put all of us in the one place, I mean, it’s a small city in here,” Gabbert said. “… That first pep assembly when the upperclassmen welcome the freshmen into the gym everybody else was down on the end of the gym except for me and (theater teacher Richard) Shultz, and then I had to bring the freshmen down and they kept coming and coming and coming and coming.”

The freshman class at Derby, which has 577 students, is bigger than all three of the grades that Gabbert was in charge of at Rose Hill middle school and is bigger than Rose Hill High School.

Gabbert is looking forward to this year and is glad he decided to become an administrator.

“I always know that I made the right choice (to move up to an administrative position). I like kids. They’re goofy,” Gabbert said. “I’ve always enjoyed hanging around high schoolers and middle schoolers just because it’s a tough time and it’s a good time and it’s always good to have somebody who cares, who’s been through it and knows all the struggles that high school kids deal with.”