Published on September 19, 2023 by Kameron Brown  
Bill Cleveland

Homewood is no stranger to Bill Cleveland--the veteran educator served Homewood City Schools as superintendent for 12 years before his retirement in 2020. After completing an impressive 31 years in public education, Cleveland spent the past two and a half years working in education consulting as the vice president of sales and operations with Lean Frog Consulting Services.

Today, however, Cleveland is returning to the classroom in Orlean Beeson School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership. The School of Education is excited to welcome Cleveland to its esteemed faculty as an assistant professor; in this role, Cleveland is teaching graduate-level courses, serving on dissertation committees, conducting research and fostering positive relationships with school superintendents and educators.

“The things I am looking forward to the most in my new position are working with such wonderful colleagues and forming positive professional relationships with each of them,” said Cleveland. “Also, being back in the classroom and providing a positive climate and experience for each student.”

If charity begins at home, then Cleveland could not be more prepared to serve Samford’s students and faculty. In his own words, Cleveland is as, “home grown” as it gets.

“I grew up in the Erskine Ramsay Faculty Apartments on the campus of Samford University. My father served as dean of admissions and director of financial aid for about 25 years. As a child, it was special to have so many undergraduates serving as big brothers and sisters. I grew up eating in the Caf, attending Samford athletic events, serving as a ball boy--even when our current athletic director, Martin Newton, played basketball for Samford, and going to every night of Step Sing, even when it was held in Seibert Gymnasium prior to the Wright Center’s construction,” said Cleveland.

Prior to working with Homewood City Schools, he was a student in the district before making the “long journey across the street,” to complete his undergraduate work at Samford.

From there Cleveland spent time working in the Jefferson County School system, teaching, coaching and ultimately serving as assistant principal at Minor High School. His work continued in the Hoover School System, during which time Cleveland completed his Master of Education and Educational Specialist degrees at the University of Montevallo before returning to Samford to complete his Doctorate of Education.

Soon after, he returned to Homewood Middle School as principal and ultimately superintendent of the district. Now, Cleveland is returning to Samford again to further impact the community he has spent his life serving.

“Now that I am back at Samford, I have been able to attend and work at the two institutions that helped shape and model my education background - Homewood City Schools and Samford University. It is such an honor and blessing to serve where so many fabulous and meaningful educators invested their time, effort and expertise into my life. My prayer is that I will positively impact my students just as those educators at Homewood and Samford impacted me,” said Cleveland.

Cleveland’s wife, Jennifer is also familiar with campus life, having been raised by two college professors. Together they share their two children, Mary Katherine, who is currently enrolled in Brock School of Business’s M.B.A. program and Andrew, a successful engineer.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.