MIAMI (CBS4) – School may be out for the summer, but CBS4 continues to celebrate those educators who go above and beyond in South Florida classrooms. This month we’re sharing the story of Dr. Derrick Johnson.

Dr. Johnson teaches at The School for Advanced Studies, which is located on four campuses of Miami-Dade College. It is a full-time dual-enrollment high school; a combined effort between Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Miami-Dade College.

Students who attend SAS often graduate with their high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree.

CBS4 Anchor Rhiannon Ally went to the Kendall location to recognize Dr. Derrick Johnson, a social studies teacher who helps prepare students for the future.

Dr. Johnson is special because he believes learning goes beyond the classroom.

“I believe in making a connection. A nexus between what occurs in the class and what happens outside in society as a whole,” explained Dr. Johnson.

Principal Omar Monteagudo said Dr. Johnson goes the extra mile.

“The students are able to step up to the plate and respond to him. He brings this incredible energy and passion,” said Monteagudo.

Students describe Dr. Johnson as always being there for them and students need a teacher like him.

“You can’t perform well if you don’t feel you have someone giving you the knowledge that you need to get there,” said student Lisset Pino.

The school boasts an impressive 100-percent graduation rate this year, thanks to the hard work of teachers like Dr. Johnson.

Even though he attended law school, Dr. Johnson knew he wanted to be a teacher from a young age.

“My passion in part comes from my parents. They were both teachers and growing up in that environment you appreciate the art form of teaching,” he explained.

He said SAS students are unique, in part, because of their ambition and that makes his job fun.

“They’re eager, very eager to learn. Once you have someone eager to learn, how you cannot harness and develop that?” he said.

CBS4 recently surprised Dr. Johnson with our special “Love My Teacher” award.

“I’m very humbled by it. I feel very gratified. It was a complete surprise,” he said.


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