Bill Daniel graduated from Laurel Ridge before transferring to the University of Virginia. While at Laurel Ridge, he was class president and president of the Student Government Association.
In 1994, Daniel graduated from U.Va. having simultaneously earned a bachelor’s degree in math and a master’s degree in teaching. He then began teaching Laurel Ridge adult education courses at Automotive Industries in Strasburg.
After working as a math teacher in Loudoun County Public Schools, Daniel was named assistant principal at James Wood High School in 1998. He would hold that post until 2013, when he was hired as coordinator of data management by Frederick County Public Schools.
Daniel says he has the heart of an educator.
“It’s always been about the students,” he explains.
That’s why Daniel – who shares a 10-year-old daughter with his wife Mary Costello Daniel, an attorney who is on the Clarke County Board of Supervisors – would like to see board members develop a more personal relationship with those being served at Laurel Ridge.”
“A meeting once every other month isn’t, to me, enough to get a true grasp of what we’re doing for students,” he says.
One way to learn what a typical student might experience could be to step into a student’s shoes for the day.
“We would get a closer experience of what’s happening with the people that we’re doing all of this work for – the students,” Daniel says. “Then, when we’re out in the community talking to folks, such as legislators or members of the boards of supervisors and community leaders, it’s easier to relay those real experiences instead of just offering facts.”
When he attended Laurel Ridge nearly 30 years ago, the idea of transferring from a community college to a four-year university was just gaining traction, Daniel says. These days, students are even able to earn their associate degrees just prior to high school graduation thanks to dual enrollment becoming more common.
“It’s just amazing to me the impact that Laurel Ridge has in so many areas,” Daniel says. “The brilliant thing about what the Virginia Community College System has done, and Laurel Ridge in particular, is being ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing what the community needs and what the economy needs.”
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.