Derrick A. Hopkins was born and raised in the Adirondacks. He attended Keeseville Elementary School where his sixth grade teacher, Ann Slattery, inspired him to become an elementary teacher. He continued his education at AVCS and excelled in math, sciences, foreign languages, music, and theatre.
In 1996, Derrick received his AA in Humanities and Social Science degree from Clinton Community College. While at CCC, Derrick was recognized by becoming the college's first recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence, the highest award given to a student in New York State. He transferred to SUNY Plattsburgh and received his BS and MS in Elementary Education with a concentration in mathematics. While at SUNY Plattsburgh, Derrick excelled in music, participated in the College Chorale, Cardinal Singers, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, and was featured as King Kaspar in the opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Derrick began his teaching career in 2000 at St. John's Academy (Plattsburgh, NY) as a middle school science teacher. The following year he was hired at Willsboro Central School as an elementary teacher where he has been employed for the past 18 years. He has taught second grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, AIS, computers, music, middle school science, high school theatre, and college-level theatre courses. For two semesters, Derrick worked for SUNY Plattsburgh teaching Introduction to Acting. Briefly, he worked for CVES as an ELA Coach where he travelled to NCCS, Keene Valley, Ticonderoga, Elizabethtown-Lewis, Crown Point, and Willsboro assisting teachers navigate the Common Core standards. Also, from time to time, Derrick is asked to facilitate New York State test correcting through CVES.
Derrick has been directing school and community productions in the area since 1998 including Annie, Avenue Q, Cabaret, Chicago, Company, Damn Yankees, Hello Dolly!, Into the Woods, The King and I, The Last Five Years, Mothers and Sons, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Next to Normal, Oklahoma!, Peter Pan, Rabbit Hole, Rent, Songs for a New World, The Sound of Music, Steel Magnolias, Wit, among many others. He had the privilege and honor to direct Leslie and George Hearn in South Pacific and Mame. Derrick also served as advisor / director of several AVCS shows including Anything Goes, Cinderella, Fiddler on the Roof, and West Side Story. In 2001, Derrick established and continues to maintain the Willsboro Drama Club. In 20-years, he has mounted 40 plays and musicals.
In 2006, Derrick earned his membership into the Actors’ Equity Association by playing Fessik in the workshop of Adam Guettel’s (Tony Winner) musical adaptation of The Princess Bride by William Goldman. He worked alongside Broadway stars Matthew Morrison (Glee, Tony Nominee), Dick Latessa (Hairspray, Tony Winner), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime, Tony Winner), Brooks Ashmanskas (The Prom, Tony Nominee), Douglas Sills (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Tony Nominee), and Judith Blazer (Titanic).
Derrick is the current president and founder of Artistry Community Theatre (ACT) Corp. Its goal is to present musicals and plays in the Keeseville community, while elevating and valuing artists. ACT received great acclaim from audiences , and is continuing to grow with more ambitious seasons each year. Visit www.artistrytheatre.org for more information.
His greatest achievement lies when he became a certified foster parent at the end of 2017. By the next summer, a baby girl was placed in his care, and he immediately fell in love with being a Daddy. On August 28, 2018, he adopted his daughter, Vera Lee, and she knows how to keep him busy!
March of 2021, Derrick received a call and is currently fostering a newborn little boy. He is truly blessed!
Acting / Performance
Artistry Community Theatre
The City of Ember
Directing Plays & Musicals
The Golden Girls
Harry Potter Series
Keeseville Hometown Heroes
The Legend of Zelda
The Lord of the Rings
NYS Foster Parent
Percy Jackson Series
Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Where the Red Fern Grows