Face to Face: Tonganoxie’s Derek Sparks
Name: Derek Sparks
Born: Overland Park
Family: Wife, Sondra Sparks; children, Mason, 3, and Logan, 2; parents, Gregg and Karen Sparks; siblings Tyler Sparks and Rachel Sparks
Occupation: Sparks works as a critical environment technician (data centers).
Dream job as a child: When he was younger, Sparks aspired to be a professional basketball player.
Interesting fact: Sparks’ oldest son, Mason, was the first baby born in Tonganoxie in 2012.
Digging deeper: A 2004 Tonganoxie High School graduate, Sparks attended college at Ottawa University where he played baseball all four years. That followed a high school athletics career of baseball and basketball. While at THS, Sparks played primarily as a shortstop and continue to play infield at Ottawa.
Sparks graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s in information technology from Ottawa. While attending OU, Sparks met his wife, Sondra.
She also was a student-athlete at OU. She played softball for the Braves after graduating from Council Grove High School.
The couple married in 2008. Sparks moved back to Tonganoxie in 2010 after his wife accepted a teaching position at Tonganoxie Elementary School. She continues to teach kindergarten at TES.
As previously mentioned, son Mason was born in 2012, while Logan, the couple’s other son, was born in 2013.
Sparks has worked for Quality Technology Services in Overland Park for the last five years “doing a little bit of everything while I’ve been there,” Sparks said.
After his collegiate playing days concluded, Sparks continued with another sport.
The THS graduate has played in various slow-pitch softball leagues in Tonganoxie, Lawrence and Overland Park and has competed in numerous softball tournaments.
Now with two boys, Sparks has scaled back that time on the field.
“I play slow-pitch softball when I can, but enjoy spending my time with my family now,” Sparks said.