El Reno’s Annie & Derek Pearson: Leadership Spotlight Presented By Southern Nazarene University

Derek and Annie Pearson have been involved with Ag for many years. The two educators currently work in the field and both decided to continue their education in the Southern Nazarene University Leadership Program.

“I have been involved in agriculture all my life. My dad was an agricultural education instructor and he would take me to livestock shows and Ag events from a very young age,” Annie said. “I have been at Redlands Community College since 2006. I started with Redlands as a conference facilitator and recently took on the role as the Department head of agriculture at RCC.”

Husband Derek has a similar background in Ag, which spans many years.

“I have been involved in agriculture since I was nine years old when my Ag teacher bought me a show lamb and sparked a fire that has continued to burn throughout my life. Currently, this is my 14th year teaching agricultural education, but I’m in my first year in El Reno Public Schools,” said Derek.

The pair decided to take the SNU course together, which at the time required them to balance a few things in life.

“We started the program in January 2019, at the time we were living in Lookeba, Oklahoma. We would drop our two children off at my parent’s house in El Reno and head to Bethany. It was really hard to keep them up that late but we made it work,” said Annie. “Now we have relocated due to Derek’s new Ag teaching position with El Reno Public Schools. So my parents still keep the kids on Wednesday evenings but they are able to get them to bed on time and now our drive is a little shorter.”

The list of positives in the SNU Leadership Program is long for the Pearson family.

“There are so many things that I have enjoyed about this program at SNU. The relaxed atmosphere, flexibility, life experiences shared with us, and the programs ability to prepare us to be future administrators,” said Derek. “The people I have met and that it is a faith based university,” Annie added.

The decision to make the commitment was an easy one for the Pearson’s. Furthering their careers in education has always been a goal for them both. Annie already carries a Master’s degree, but with Derek’s encouragement, she decided to take the course as well. The Pearson’s firmly believe anyone looking to further their career should look into SNU’s program.

“I would recommend this program to anyone,” said Annie. “The professors are excellent and always willing to help you. They have shared so many success stories of students from this program. I feel that these professors are invested in us, they want to be resources for us when we are looking for administrative positions.” Derek added, “Absolutely! This program has opened up many doors for the advancement our careers. It is an awesome opportunity.”