Bill Bryant honored with annual Dr. Leola Bullock educator award

The Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools has honored LPS African American Student Advocate Bill Bryant with the 2021 Dr. Leola Bullock Multicultural Educator Award. 

This annual award recognizes an LPS employee who has been an innovative leader and made a significant contribution to fostering understanding of our multicultural society through developing and implementing programs for the school district.

Bryant learned of the award during a surprise presentation on Tuesday at Lincoln Southeast High School, where he was visiting a summer school class.

Bryant joined LPS in 2009 and has made a positive impact on countless students. He’s helped hundreds stay on track to graduate. He checks in with them as he walks school hallways across the city. He touches base with teachers and counselors - and even families outside of school.

“Personally I feel like my main objective is to instill hope in students and families that might have been losing hope and feeling that the deck is stacked against them,” he said.

LPS Youth Development Coordinator Pete Ferguson nominated Bryant for the award. In his nomination letter he wrote, “Bryant helps those who may be challenged to understand and engage in discussion on equity. I have seen him resolve conflicts and handle other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. In the community, he is recognized as a pillar and goes out of his way to help each and every person. Bryant's mission, as was Dr. Bullock’s, is to see people succeed while empowering others to support diversity and inclusion by standing up and speaking out."

Before passing away in 2010, Dr. Bullock worked to increase racial understanding in the Lincoln community for more than 44 years. A native of Mississippi, Bullock founded Concerned Citizens for Truth in Education, a group that pointed out racial bias in textbooks, literature and teaching methods in schools. As a result, LPS formed the Multicultural Advisory Committee in 1973 under then-superintendent John Prasch.

The following video shows firsthand the work that Bryant does on a daily basis.

Published: June 2, 2021, Updated: June 10, 2021

Bailey Feit from the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools presents Bill Bryant with the 2021 Dr. Leola Bullock Multicultural Educator Award.