Dr. Ronald Lankford



Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Ronald Lankford

The Webb City R-7 Schools Foundation, Inc. is proud to honor Dr. Ronald L. Lankford as its 2010 Distinguished Citizen. Dr. Lankford grew up in the small, southwestern Missouri town of Seneca. There he grew up working the family farm and learning the meaning of hard work, dedication, and the value of education.


• Graduated Seneca High School, 1967
• Bachelor of Science in Education, Missouri Southern State College, Joplin, 1971
• Masters in Educational Guidance and Counseling, University of Missouri, 1973
• Educational Specialist, Secondary School Administration, University of Missouri, 1976
• Doctorate in Education, General School Administration, University of Missouri, 1976


• Harrisburg Public Schools, Harrisburg, MO, Social Studies/Guidance and Counseling, 1973-74
• East Newton Public Schools, Granby, MO, Social Studies/Guidance and Counseling/High School Assistant Principal, 1974-77
• Webb City R-7 School District, Webb City, MO, Junior High Principal (1977-79); High School Principal (1979-87); Associate Superintendent (1987-98); Superintendent of Schools (1998-2010)
• Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jefferson City, MO, Deputy Commissioner of Education for Finance and Administrative Services, 2010- present

Under Dr. Lankford's leadership, he and the Webb City School District have earned numerous awards and achievements, such as:

• operated 23 consecutive budgets without deficit spending
• oversaw passage of 10 general obligation bond issues
• earned “Distinction in Performance” 11 out of 12 years since 1999
• recognized by Standard and Poors as one of Missouri's 24 “Outperformer School Districts”
• ranked 3rd in the nation by Great Schools, a not-for profit organization in San Francisco, CA and reported in Forbes Magazine, for communities with median home values of less           than $100,000 in 2010
• organized and administered the district’s Scholarship Program; distributed $367,000 since 1986 and endowed in excess of $450,000
• initiated and chaired the Joplin Globe All District Academic Team, the first of this type in Missouri
• initiated the effort to establish the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence in Webb City, MO in 1996
• selected Missouri Superintendent of Schools, 2010

Early in Dr. Lankford's educational career, he married his high school sweetheart Carolyn (Hierholzer). They have been married 39 years and have two children, Christina Dickinson and Craig Lankford, M.D. They enjoy five grandchildren Baylor, Bryce, Jordan, Brandon and Kyndall.