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Take Five with Deon Berry: Athletic Director and School Social Work Support at Warren Elementary

03 May 2024

Mr. Berry is known for being outgoing, reliable, and a leader in his school community.

Deon Berry

Take Five is a series that highlights some of the many members of the CPS community who are going above and beyond for our schools. If you know someone who is making a difference, nominate them to be featured here

This week, we are excited to spotlight Mr. Deon Berry, school social services assistant and the athletic director at Warren Elementary School! In his school community, Mr. Berry is known for being outgoing, reliable, and a leader.

A CPS graduate from Harlan Community Academy, Mr. Berry has dedicated his career to making an impact in his community. As a school social services assistant, he collaborates with his colleagues and community partners to connect students to the supports, resources, and opportunities they need. And as athletic director, he develops sports programming for Warren’s student athletes while encouraging them to continue working hard in school. 

Mr. Berry’s well-rounded approach aligns perfectly with the District’s commitment to supporting the whole child—read more about him and his work below!

As athletic director, can you tell us more about the value of sports for our students?

They learn lessons they’ll use for the rest of their lives, like sportsmanship and teamwork. Students also learn that when you don’t win, it’s not a loss. It’s a lesson and a chance to think about what they can do differently the next time around. I always tell students that proper preparation prevents poor performance.

You are on the Culture and Climate Team at Warren—what do you think is the key ingredient for creating a positive school culture?

Compassion. We don't always know what students have going on outside of school, so it's important to create an environment where they know they're safe. We have a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program that helps foster a comfortable environment for our students. 

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

Witnessing the transformation of students’ abilities, both in sports and academics. I have a passion for sports and helping others, so it’s a perfect combination that I'm able to apply toward helping children develop their skills and talents.

What are your biggest goals for your students?

My most important goals are to ensure our students feel like they are a part of this community and that they learn the importance of respect. Education is the key to their future, so I also encourage them to work hard in their academics. The end goal is to have our students come back and share their success stories with the next generation.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to organize sporting events throughout the community. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

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