Mayor Derek Easterling is an 18-year Navy veteran, a middle- school social studies teacher and a friend to many. He is on fire for walking the walk, and cheering and supporting people so they can follow his example to be a servant leader in the community.
He starts his day at 4:30 AM by letting their dogs out. He then reads aloud his sheet of “10 things to have an outstanding day.” Then he prays, exercises, spends some time to review his course work for obtaining his Masters for secondary education.
He makes it to the city hall office with his PBJ sandwich, and gets the city’s work done. All this is before he goes to the middle school, where he teaches and then gets more work done.
In the evenings, he spends time with his family or networking with citizens and businesses in the city, before calling it a day.
What is amazing is, he manages to keep a 3.8 GPA while doing his mayoral duties as well as being a great teacher, father, husband and friend to so many.
If you have seen him ride his favorite Harley Davidson motorcycle around (in cowboy boots) regardless of the weather, you know
that he always ha
s that contagious smile a
His favorite word is “Opportunity.” Mayor Easterling believes we, as citizens, can earn what we desire if
we create opportunities and work hard for it. Even though he dropped out of college as a freshman years ago and worked many jobs, he seized the opportunity to go back to earn a degree in education. For him, the “why” had come into focus.
He started to take online courses to achieve that goal, and in August of 2016, he graduated magna cum laude. He has continued his education t
o go onto start his MED in July of 2017 and is scheduled to finish by September of this year.
Mayor Easterling strongly believes in education, in people and in his faith. His “mantra” is “I want to be the best version of myself, so others can be the best version of themselves. I fight every day to be the best version of me.”
It was an honor to start off my life-long project to tell the stories of people in our community with Mayor Easterling. I was amazed at how much we had in common. Everything from our faith, to the love of travel and even skateboarding. He cracked me up when I asked him to hold the skateboard and he ran to grab a picture of himself skateboarding with it. We even did a camera shoot out.
He also had me do an intriguing thing, which he does with some of his other visitors. He handed me six polished stones that had words engraved in them, and asked me to put them in the order of most important to least important.
He also showed me one last stone that read “Legacy” and asked: What did that word mean to me? And what kind of legacy did I wanted to leave?
I will not write here what answer he gave me. But his door is wide open and it would be a lot more memorable if you want to go hear what he has to say in person.
KBA Communications Team | Photographer