Friday, April 4, 2003

Moeller leader leaves legacy of technology

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Dan Ledford, Moeller High School principal, talks Thursday with 15-year-old Sebastian Hilton. Ledford is retiring June 30.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
The school produced winners on the football field. But Dan Ledford helped Moeller High School become a powerhouse in academics and technology as well.

During his 11-year tenure as principal, Ledford, 55, initiated a $5 million capital development effort and started a laptop computer initiative.

His last day is June 30. But that won't stop the Blue Ash resident from staying involved with the all-boys Catholic school in Kenwood.

"You don't retire from Catholic schools. You die first," he joked.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and a team of parents, administrators and staff are conducting the search for a replacement.

"(Ledford) has certainly taken (Moeller) into the 21st century and made it one of the leading high schools in technology in the state and in the country," said Brother Joseph Kamis, superintendent of schools for the archdiocese and former Moeller principal.

In 1995, Ledford initiated "Campaign for Moeller," a capital campaign that raised $5 million, which was used for the new science and technology wing, educational center and a center for wrestling and weight training. One million of that was added to the endowment fund.

He created the laptop program in 1998. Students lease laptops for about $750 a year and keep them when they graduate.

Ledford graduated from Moeller in 1966, then returned to teach after graduating from Xavier University.

Ledford was an English teacher for seven years before becoming assistant principal and dean of students. He started the development office in the early 1980s, and in 1984 became dean of academics and dean of students. He was hired as principal in January 1992.

"People like me have depended on Dan for guidance and leadership over the years, and you won't have that kind of person around anymore," said Bob Hotze, teacher and theater director. "But, as with any good legacy, you just hope it might continue."

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