Dr. Derwood Duke earned a degree in physical education with a minor in mathematics at University of Louisiana-Lafayette in 1958, a master’s degree in education administration with a minor in physical education in 1959 and an Ed.D. in physical education with an administration minor at Northwestern State in 1974.

He began his career teaching math and coaching basketball at Mansfield High School from 1959-1965 before transferring to Natchitoches High School as a health and P.E. teacher, head basketball coach and supervisor of student teachers until 1970 and continued those responsibilities  at Natchitoches Central High School through 1973 when he joined the faculty at Northwestern State as a graduate assistant in health, physical education and recreation.  He was assistant basketball coach, golf coach and assistant professor at NSU from 1974-1981 when he was began serving as director at Natchitoches Central.  He was superintendent of schools in Winn Parish from 1988-1996 and returned to NSU from 1997-2009 as assistant professor of education leadership.  He was superintendent of the Natchitoches Parish School Board from 2009-2014.

He is married to Ann Gibson Duke and has three children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.