William Floyd

William Floyd (1907-2000) dedicated his life to the education of students in West Lafayette.  Floyd came from humble beginnings in Pekin, Indiana.  After graduating from Pekin High School, Floyd obtained his bachelor’s (1933) and master’s (1936) degrees from Butler University and later completed 45 hours toward his Ph.D. at Purdue University.  His first teaching position was at a one-room school where he was responsible for providing the firewood and cleaning the building as well as teaching the 16 students in all grades.  He rode a horse to school.

Floyd was hired by WLCSC in 1941 as the principal of Morton School, but within the first year, due to unrest at the high school, he was named the high school principal. Floyd’s 22-year superintendency began in 1945. He always hired the best and most qualified teachers he could find. Among his many accomplishments, he listed getting a gym and auditorium built at the high school as two of his most significant.  He was also proud that he was able to maintain the educational program during WWII and guided the construction of Burtsfield and Cumberland schools. Floyd successfully instituted a retirement plan for staff and introduced the 6th year to the pay scale for teachers. He was the first superintendent to foster a relationship with Purdue University, and it was during his tenure that school board members were elected rather than appointed.  After his retirement, Floyd spent years writing a history of the West Lafayette Schools, which continues to serve as a reference.

Floyd was appointed by presidents Truman and Eisenhower to serve on various education committees and attend numerous conferences concerning education on the national level. After his retirement as superintendent in 1967, Floyd continued to work in the education field in other capacities – first as Director of the Wabash Valley Education Center (1967-1973) and then as a consultant with the Indiana Department of Education (1973-1976).

Floyd’s twin sons, Ivan and Iran, graduated from WLHS.  Iran became WLCSC superintendent decades later.  Floyd was a humble man who always had the best interest of students as his motivation and led WLCSC through rapid growth and into prominence.