BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT)– Across Birmingham, Fairfield, and Bessemer, people are remembering Larry Langford and his legacy.
Many are recalling his dedication to education.
Glenn Iris Elementary School students spend time inside a computer lab, and a broadcast team works with the latest technology. The students begin preparing for the future, and the school says it dates back to Langford’s time as Birmingham Mayor.
In 2007, assistant principal Tronci Mason says she was working in the school as a teacher and recalls Langford bringing 850 students a laptop.
“It was a jumpstart,” says assistant principal Lisa Long who also taught at the time,”it was really what we needed in order for us to move forward.”
Counselor Pamela Rogers remembers the ceremony where Langford presented the students with the new technology.
“If you could see the joy in those students faces as they all received their very own laptop, because that was something that many of the children didn’t have access to.”
Over in Fairfield, educators recall Langford’s dedication to students.
“By the vitality that he had, and the vision that he had, he just wanted the schools to be excellent. There were several things I was able to witness while serving as superintendent,” says Dr. Yvette Richardson.
Dr. Richardson served as Fairfield City Schools Superintendent from 1998-2005.
She recalls Langford’s role in building Fairfield High School Preparatory School, and said his involvement didn’t end there. She says Langford was revolutionary in his way of thinking that brought the school board and city together as one.
“I was very proud of the fact that I was a product of Fairfield. And then being able to come back and work with people who could continue to improve the district, and then having a visionary leader such as Langford allowed those things to occur.”
In Bessemer, Langford is remembered as a visionary as well.
Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley sending this statement:
“Like many around the metropolitan area, we were saddened here in Bessemer to hear of the passing on yesterday of former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford. He was an inspiration to so many of us who currently serve in public office.
Some of my earliest and fondest memories in municipal government was working alongside Mayor Larry Langford when the Visionland Amusement Park was being built here in Bessemer.
I was a 26-year-old man and assistant to former Bessemer Mayor Quitman Mitchell when Visionland Amusement Park was proposed. I remember traveling back and forth to Montgomery to work on legislation to establish the park. I was literally in awe at his ability to maneuver through obstacles and pull people and municipalities together to complete the project.
Mayor Langford has had his fingerprints on so many successful projects throughout Jefferson County that we are currently enjoying today, from education to recreation to economic development.
We extend our condolences to his family, but we are happy Mayor Langford was able to spend his final days surrounded by those whom he loved. He will be missed.”
What was once Visionland still operates as Alabama Splash Adventure and the theme park is preparing for the 2019 season.