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Lula Ford

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Information about Lula Ford

Profile image of Lula Ford

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Executive
State Government Appointee
Elementary School Principal

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Favorite Quote:
Help Me, Jesus.

Birthplace

Born:
3/11/1944
Birth Location:
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Executive
State Government Appointee
Elementary School Principal

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Favorite Quote:
Help Me, Jesus.

Birthplace

Born:
3/11/1944
Birth Location:
Pine Bluff
See how Lula Ford is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Illinois Commerce Commissioner Lula Mae Ford was born on March 11, 1944 to a family of nine in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Ford’s father was a World War II veteran that worked most of his life in the Pine Bluff Arsenal, and her mother was a homemaker who also instilled in Ford, as a child, the importance of education. After attending Coleman High School in Pine Bluff, Ford went on to graduate from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1965. She then relocated to Chicago, Illinois where she pursued her M.A. degree in urban studies at Northeastern University and later earned her M.A. degree in science, career education and vocational guidance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

In 1965, Ford began her teaching career at Horner Elementary School. She served in that capacity until 1975 when she became a counselor for at-risk students. Then in 1976, Ford was hired as the mathematics coordinator at McCorkle Elementary School. She resigned from that position in 1979 to become a liaison for parents and the principal selection committee as the ESEA Reading Teacher and Coordinator. Later in 1984, while serving as a math teacher for John Hope Academy, Ford became the coordinator for the Effective Schools Campaign, organizing GED programs and the school’s black history programs. Ford went on to become the principal for Beethoven Elementary School and was awarded the principal of excellence award for her performance in 1992, 1993 and 1994. She also provided administrative leadership when she fulfilled the position of assistant superintendent of Chicago Public Schools in 1994. Afterwards, from 1995 until 1996, Ford served as the chief instruction officer, advising teachers and faculty on the best teaching practices.

Ford has received many awards and recognitions for her achievements in the field of education including: the Walter H. Dyett Middle School Women in History Award, the Kathy Osterman Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Arkansas, Pine Bluff and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Northeastern Illinois University. Ford was hired as the assistant director of central management services for the State of Illinois from 1999 until 2003. In 2003, Ford was appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission and was reappointed to the same office in 2008.

Ford is an active member of many civic organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Lakeshore Chapter (IL) of The Links, Incorporated, and the board of the Trinity Higher Education Corporation.

Ford lives in Illinois and is the proud mother of one adult daughter, Charisse Ford.

Ford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2008.

See how Lula Ford is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lula Ford's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lula Ford lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lula Ford describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lula Ford talks about her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lula Ford describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lula Ford talks about her father's experiences in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lula Ford describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lula Ford recalls her neighborhood in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lula Ford remembers her early religious experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lula Ford describes her elementary school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lula Ford recalls her extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lula Ford remembers the civil rights activities in Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lula Ford recalls the discipline of Principal C.P. Coleman
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lula Ford remembers the African American community in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lula Ford remembers the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lula Ford talks about her interests at the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lula Ford recalls her civil rights activities in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lula Ford describes the black business district in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lula Ford remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lula Ford describes the start of her teaching career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lula Ford recalls her first impressions of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lula Ford remembers the influential figures in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lula Ford recalls teaching at the John Hope Academy in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lula Ford talks about the desegregation of the Chicago Public Schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lula Ford describes her graduate studies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lula Ford recalls her transition to educational administrative positions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lula Ford talks about Harold Washington's mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lula Ford describes her work at the Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lula Ford recalls her accomplishments as the principal of Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lula Ford describes her administrative roles in the Chicago Public Schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lula Ford talks about the underperformance of the Chicago Public Schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lula Ford describes her assistant directorship of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lula Ford talks about her experiences as an Illinois Commerce Commissioner
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lula Ford describes her organizational memberships
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lula Ford talks about the Citizens Utility Board and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lula Ford describes her social and political volunteer work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lula Ford describes her hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lula Ford reflects upon her life and legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lula Ford describes her family and how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lula Ford narrates her photographs