Sandra Whaley Derrick

Sandra Whaley Derrick

Alumni Office

Retired educator said she owes FACS "everything" for her 30-year career


BSHE Fashion Merchandising, 1976; M.Ed., Home Economics Education, 1980

Current occupation/Location

Retired FACS educator, 30 years - Whitfield County Schools, Dalton, Ga.

What has been your proudest accomplishment since graduating?

Being selected as Whitfield County Schools Teacher of the Year in 2006 and serving as UGA FACS Alumni Association Board of Directors president – 2018-2019

What was your favorite class in FACS?

My favorite class in FACS was a flat pattern construction class during my senior year.  Ms. Johnson was the instructor and it was her last quarter before retiring.

Did you have a favorite – or most memorable – faculty member?

Jane Harvey was my advisor during my college days.  She advised me well and always had my best interest when she helped schedule my courses. 

I also had Dr. Aleene Cross for FACS education classes, and she was a gem. Her methods class was very helpful in my teaching career, and I used the textbook she'd written in my classroom.

How do you think FACS prepared you for your career success?

I owe FACS for everything in my 30-year career in education. I learned so much about subject matter, how to manage a classroom, and how to plan and prepare for teaching students.

What inspires or motivates you?

I think the thing that motivates me is getting involved with community, alumni events and organizations. These things allow me to meet new people, keeps me up-to-date in the area, and I have so much fun! Giving back is so important.

What advice would you give a current FACS student looking to pursue a career in your field?

My advice would be to absorb all they can at UGA, get involved in FACS activities and connect with the staff at FACS. The faculty and staff will give them so much information they can use in their career. Don’t be afraid to ask for their advice. Jump right in to all the things that are offered on campus and at Dawson Hall. Connect with FACS alumni. Sign up for the UGA Mentorship Program.

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