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