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Bill Wagner: Names in the News

While things at the high school have quieted down, Lakewood High School principal plans on logging some time on his bicycle — and it's all about helping others.

School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean that Principal Bill Wagner will be relaxing.

While things at the high school have quieted down, Wagner plans on logging some time on his bicycle. 

Think 1,000 miles.

This summer, Wagner is participating in two major bicycle fundraisers.

The first is the last weekend in July, when he’ll participate in the four-day, 328-mile Pan Ohio Hope Ride from Cleveland to Cincinnati to benefit the American Cancer Society. 

Wagner is also riding in the Pedal to the Point MS 150 on Aug. 4, when he’ll lead a group of self-proclaimed Ranger Riders.

The group — representing faculty, administration and staff from — will ride 150 miles to Cedar Point to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

Wagner is also doing what he calls a “fun ride” with friends — the 330-mile Great Allegheny Passage, from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. 

“I will do about 1,000 miles this summer,” he said, smiling. “That’s the equivalent of about 15 days of bike riding.”

“It’s a little nutty.”

While we know Wagner is a “little nutty” about biking, we thought we take the opportunity to get to know him a little bit better.

How long have you lived in Lakewood? Since 2000. What do you like most about this community? It’s vibrancy. There’s always something going on. And there is a energized civic activity here. If you can’t find it here, you don’t need it. It’s a big town with a small footprint, with lots of friendly people.

What community and civic organizations are you currently involved in? ; Lakewood Rocky River Kiwanis; Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise Rotary Club; Member of LakewoodAlive; .

What drew you to education and what do you find most interesting about the work you do? I had such a great time in high school, I decided that’s what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I learned money isn’t everything — you’ve got to do what you love.

What personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud of? I am proud of the work we do collectively at the high school, and as a district. In the larger political environment, I think education is taken for granted. And I am tremendously proud of the work that’s taken place in our school and in our district.

Who is most influential in your life? My mom. As I much as I hated to admit it, she was always right — as most moms are. I try to be a pillar of stability in other people’s lives — I got that from my mom.

What person—professionally or personally—do you most admire? John Zapalla. He never stops giving to others, he’s probably the best example of a Christ-like person that I know. He’s as about as down-to-earth as they come. And he’s very selfless.

What are key ways other people can make a difference locally? Get involved. It doesn’t matter with what — just get involved. Don’t sit idly by. Because sitting on idly doesn’t get you change — action does.

Judy Fesko June 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Bill is very modest: he really makes Lakewood High School "tick." He's always spotted at activities: sports, music, clubs, in the hallway....the students all know him and respect him. We are fortunate to have him and his family as part of the Lakewood community!

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