William O’Neal Lockridge was born in Columbia, Tennessee and raised in Chicago, Illinois with his brother and sister. William attended public schools in Chicago, Illinois. Upon graduation, he attended and graduated from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee with a Bachelors Degree in Education.
William’s political climb in D.C., flourished as field manager for the Patricia R. Harris Mayoral Campaign in 1980. He began to serve on various community organizations including NPC (Neighborhood Planning Council), ANC (Advisory Neighborhood Commission), PTA (Parent Teacher Association), ARCH (Action to Rehabilitate Housing), Alabama Avenue Renaissance Task Force, the Board of Education and State Board of Education.
William worked as Assistant Director for the Medico-Chirurgical Society coordinating, evaluating, and conducting over 500 HIV/AIDs workshops for community organizations, DC Public Schools, government agencies and churches. His other accomplishments included: Vice President of the Board of Education; Chair of the Finance Committee; President of Simon Elementary School PTA,
passage of three consecutive balanced budgets; development of the Master Facilities Plan which was the guiding force for building new schools and renovating existing facilities; introduction of resolutions making Phelps a free-standing Vocational Career Development School and providing at least one vocational education program at every senior high school. William also fought passionately to push for a moratorium on new charter schools and provided resolutions that opposed requirement of parents of special needs children to prove their kids needs for services.William began his 15-year career in the D.C. Public School System in 1983 before he was elected to the Board of Education. He served as a teacher coordinator, parent advocate for special needs, biology teacher and truancy officer. William was a man of principle who tirelessly worked for the citizens of the D.C. through his activism, advocacy and leadership for over 30 years. He was a courageous role-model and surrogate father to many and has left a lasting legacy and longstanding commitment to the children of Washington, D.C.
While working on the D.C. Board of Education as State Board of Education Representative, he was an advocate for children and the voice of the people. William built partnerships with community members and Toyota Motor Corporation to provide 33,000 books—1,000 books for each school in Southeast and over $1.5M for the Ballou SHS Automotive Program; he championed the building of three new schools in Wards 7 & 8—Kelly Miller Middle School, Patterson and Randle Highland Elementary schools; he developed partnerships with DC Public Schools and DC Parks & Recreation, UDC and the Woodland Tigers to lease land at Stanton Elementary and build a recreation facility; he supported and worked to develop International Baccalaureate Program and Barbering Program at Woodson SHS.
William joined many organizations including the NAACP, the National School Boards Association, the Council of Urban Boards of Education, the National Alliance of Black School Educators; DC Democratic State Committee and served as president of the Ward Eight Democrats, Inc.