Lakewood Educator Named Ohio’s Principal of the Year

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Lakewood High School prides itself on a diverse education. But now, its 1,800 students have one extra thing to be proud of: their principal.

Dr. William Wagner has just been named Ohio’s High School Principal of the Year by the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators.

“I’m truly honored,” said Wagner. “A lot of people at this school work very hard and makes this school look very good, and I’m pleased to be able to be principal of the building and work with these individuals.”

Wagner joined the Rangers in 2001 as an assistant principal, but then was named head principal two years later.

Brian Siftar, House 3 principal, nominated Wagner for the award.

“I think his long list of accomplishments speaks for itself,” Siftar said, ”but the great job that he’s done, bringing together our staff, which has very different styles and methodologies together.”

Lakewood High has earned an excellent rating from the State of Ohio six out of the past seven years. Siftar said much of that prestige is due to Wagner’s leadership.

“He’s the first one in and one of the last people out,” Siftar said. “He’s very humble. He does a great job deflecting credit for everything we do very, very well here to the staff.”

Now, Wagner will represent the state at a national conference in the fall. He’s also up for the crème de la crème of educational awards: National Principal of the Year.

“I’m not surprised at all. In terms of leadership, he really wants us to do well and we want to do well for him,” said Spanish teacher Stephanie Boyd. “It’s not about the scores or anything else. He sees the bigger picture.”

Wagner said the award is humbling. However, his biggest goal is to make each student’s experience special, giving them as many opportunities to succeed outside of the classroom.

“Lakewood High School and the community of Lakewood is incredibly dynamic place to be,” Wagner said. “We have students from all walks of life, coming together, working collaboratively ... an outstanding staff. To be included in those individuals is a tremendous honor, and I’m pleased just to be recognized.”

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