Former Florida Highway Patrol chief Derek Barrs files to run for Flagler County School Board

Barrs is currently an associate vice president for HNTB Corporation and served in law enforcement for 33 years.

Derek Barrs. Courtesy photo
Derek Barrs. Courtesy photo
Photo by Kacie Saunders
  • Palm Coast Observer
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Both of the candidates for Flagler County’s District 3 School Board seat filed shortly before the June 14 deadline. Derek Barrs will run against Janie Ruddy for the seat that Colleen Conklin has held for the past 24 years.

Barrs, who has 33 years of experience in law enforcement, said he was asked by community members to run for School Board and decided to pursue the opportunity “after careful consideration, prayer and discussions with my family and friends.”

Barrs is currently an associate vice president at HNTB Corporation, an employee-owned firm that designs and advances transportation infrastructure. He was Florida Highway Patrol chief, the third highest ranking official in the agency, from 2011 to 2022. He began his law enforcement career in 1991 as a deputy sheriff in Madison County. One of his roles in the sheriff’s office was to serve as a School Resource Officer.

“I aim to ensure Flagler County Schools reach their full potential, fostering an environment where students thrive and teachers and staff are fully supported,” he said. “I seek to bring a sensible voice to School Board discussions and decisions, aiming to elevate our educational standards and outcomes.”

Barrs is a fourth-generation Floridian. He and his family have lived in Flagler County for three years.

“I am a motivated, disciplined, relationship builder with strong character and a passion for serving,” he said. “I know what it takes to put on the uniform and protect our children. I’m ready to bring my experience to the board in order to give our kids a brighter future.”


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