Dr. Fred DePrez is Sun Lakes Rotarian of the Month

Norm Noble

Dr. Fred DePrez joined the Sun Lakes Rotary Club in 2004. He has served the club with distinction ever since, functioning as Youth Protection Officer and has always been the go-between for our club and the students who have been involved with us. He just handed off his Youth Protection Officer responsibilities to become our World Affairs Conference Chairperson.

Fred was the only principal that Hamilton High School had ever known, serving the school over a remarkable 17-year period, making it one of the most academically successful high schools in the state. Fred was there from the start when Hamilton opened in 1998 with 1,600 freshmen, sophomores and juniors and no senior class. Today, there are more than 3,600 students.

Back at the start, farm fields stretched out in every direction, surrounding the new Chandler high school. To some, it was a puzzlement why Fred wanted to run a school in the middle of nowhere. But Fred saw nothing but potential to create an academic and athletic powerhouse for the Chandler Unified School District. And he was right. In 2014, its Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) score ranked 15th in the state, behind charter and magnet schools. Over the years, the school also had won 28 state athletic championships and 74 regional championships.

Fred wears a permanent smile that characterizes his calm, yet demanding demeanor. If there is a job to do, he sees to it that it is done superbly. He boldly proclaims the Rotary motto, “Is it the truth; Is it fair to all concerned; Will it build goodwill and better friendships; Will it be beneficial to all?”

Fred and Suzie DePrez live in Chandler.