LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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William Lanford

Position: Social Studies Teacher
School: Morris Innovative High School
School District: Dalton Public Schools
City, State: Dalton, GA

Support William

Dr. William Lanford was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous.

Dr. Lanford has overcome obstacles in his life that have allowed him to uniquely connect to his students and colleagues. His academic journey includes a master's degree in administration/supervision and a doctorate in teacher leadership. He leads by example and maintains high standards, even when it would be easier or more convenient to compromise. He has strong professional relationships with his students and colleagues, and is deeply respected and admired. 

"His impeccable work ethic and standards make him stand out above the crowd, which at times can be a lonely journey. William tackles academic, personal and professional tasks with vigor, attention to detail, and integrity," his nominator said. "Many colleagues and students turn to him for sound advice, knowing that he will be forthright and fair, even if his advice is not 'exactly what the inquirer wanted to hear.'" 

His colleagues and students know he will tell the truth and back up his answers with research. Last year, Dr. Lanford worked with a senior who was not passing his required course. Throughout the year, Dr. Lanford gained this student's respect and challenged him to push towards the goal of walking across the stage in May. This student struggled academically to not only grasp the difficult concepts, but to even read and comprehend the text. Tirelessly, Dr. Lanford encouraged and supported this individual while maintaining academic rigor and standards. In May, the student graduated and later found Dr. Lanford in the crowd to thank him for helping him graduate.

Comments (1)

Marilou Gilman Posted over a year ago

It was my pleasure to work with Dr. Lanford in his capacity as principal of our local elementary school in Wisconsin. As principal he was highly supportive of his staff, treated all students and parents with respect and expected respect in return, and had a work ethic that was outstanding. Dr. Lanford was highly visible and interacted with students on a daily basis. He truly cared about each child and family. In 40 years of teaching, I never had a principal so involved that they would visit the classroom, greet students and parents in the hallways in the morning and after school, walk into the cafeteria and enjoy a lunch with the students, and have such an open door policy that made one feel welcome to bring items to his attention. If Dr. Lanford said something should or must be done, he would lead the way until the objective was reached. This award is apropos for such a great leader of students and colleagues.