FAQs ~ Derby High School

Derby High School is one of the largest, most dynamic high schools in Kansas. In an effort to make the high school experience all that it can be for our students, we are committed to making this school feel personal and small, while tending to the individual needs of our students. To accomplish this, Derby High School’s administration, guidance counselors, SROs and homeroom classes are structured to give students every chance to receive personal attention with a consistent group of adults.   

Derby High School has one Principal, four Assistant Principals, one Athletic/Activity director, five Guidance Counselors and two School Resource Officers (SROs). The Principal works mostly from a strategic planning perspective addressing the day to operations of the school and following the long-range mission and vision of the district. The Assistant Principals and Guidance Counselors work directly with students on a daily basis by grade level or last name. The Athletic/Activity director addresses all aspects of athletics and activities at DHS. Our School Resource Officers are here to provide a safe, orderly school environment and for students to work with and get to know members of our local law enforcement agency in a positive fashion.

The assistant principal / guidance counselor assignments are:

Student’s grade level
Assistant Principal
 9th  Mr. Gabbert
 10th  Mrs. Strecker
 11th  Mr. Seeley
 12th  Mr. Swearingen

Student's Last Name Assigned Counselor 
 Mr. Zappata
 D-H  Mr. Harrison
 I-M  Mrs. Drake
 N-Sl  Mrs. Lankford
 Sm-Z  Mr. Stallbaumer

                  In addition to working with individual students, each assistant principal has several areas of responsibility.  If you have questions or need information, the following is a list of areas of responsibility for each assistant principal:

Mrs. Strecker

Career & Tech Ed. AP/ACT testing, Concurrent credit, SRI, Curriculum Guide, Pre-enrollment, Career Cruising, College Career Readiness, Accreditation, SIP.

Mr. Gabbert

Security, In School Suspension, PBIS, PAR, English Language Learners (ELL), Emergency drills, Graduation ceremony.

Mr. Seeley

Online programming, Skyward,  State assessments, Random drug testing, Homebound, Summer School, Student laptops.

Mr. Swearingen

Special Education, 504, PBIS, PDC, PIT Crew GEI Process, Lunch schedule.

Below are a few examples of the duties and roles of counselors, assistant principals, the AD, the head principal and the SROs.


Reasons to see a counselor:

  • If you are needing help keeping “life” organized

  • If you have questions about or need your schedule changed

  • If you have problems getting along in school

  • If you have questions about College/Career planning

  • If you are having personal or family issues

  • If you have good news to share

  • If you have questions about college scholarships or admissions

Reasons to see an assistant principal:

  • If you feel a student or teacher has treated you badly

  • If you need a signature of a school administrator on a document

  • If you have a complaint or concern about something occurring here at DHS

  • If you have good news to share

  • If you just need an adult to bounce things off of (an ear or shoulder)

Reasons to see the Athletic Director:

  • If need a physical form

  • If you have a question about a sport or club

  • If you have a question or wish to hold a fundraising event

  • If you have any concerns, complaints or issue related to athletics or activities

Reasons to see the Head Principal:

  • If you have seen the Assistant Principal and do not feel an issue is resolved

  • An issue with the overall daily operations of the building

  • If you have feedback or thoughts about things at DHS

Reasons to see an SRO:

  • You have been the victim of or witnessed a crime in or out of school.

  • You want to visit with an adult

  • You need to report the loss of property (possible theft)

What to do if a problem arises

At Derby High School we believe education goes beyond the lessons offered in class. Students at DHS are taught to work and collaborate with others. We recognize a vital skill students need to learn as they transition to being young adults is working through problems with others. Learning how to advocate for oneself is a very important skill many of our young people are challenged with in today’s world. To assist our students in learning these skills we have established expectations or steps to solving problems that arise in our student’s lives. The basic expectation is for problems to be solved at the lowest possible level. The following is a quick look at the progressive steps we encourage students, parents and staff to follow when trying to find a resolution to any problem that arises during a student’s DHS experience.

  • Step 1 Students, themselves are encouraged to work directly with the other person(s) involved, be that another student or a teacher.

  • Step 2 If the problem is not resolved:  Students are encouraged to have their parent contact the teacher to find a solution to the problem.

  • Step 3 If the problem is still not resolved:   Parents should contact their child’s assistant principal to gain assistance in solving the problem.

  • In the very rare circumstances where a problem remains after steps 1 – 3 have been taken: The building principal will work with all parties to try and reach an acceptable resolution.


To further support our belief in the power and value of consistent, positive student to student and student to adult relationships at DHS, all students are welcomed as freshmen into a Homeroom class. Students attend Homeroom every day. This daily contact serves as another opportunity for students to form relationships with a smaller set of DHS students. Homeroom classes are comprised of DHS students from the same grade level and one teacher. Students remain a part of this Homeroom family throughout their high school career. The hope behind this model is that a bond will form between the student and teacher, giving the student an adult contact in a form other than a content teacher. We also see this model easing the transition for freshmen and new students to DHS by giving them contact with a set group of people every day as opposed to the normal class that meets every other day and does not allow for students to get to know each other. Homeroom is all about community, relationships and learning to interact with people the student may not have otherwise gotten to know.

The Homeroom teacher, in time, becomes the “go to” person for insight into his or her student’s lives. The Homeroom teacher works with students as they progress towards graduation. The Homeroom teacher quickly becomes another adult like the student’s assistant principal, and guidance counselor to work with, advocate for and help the student navigate the sometimes-rough waters of high school.

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