Tee Lifelong Poetic Prancing of Mad John by John Tefford
John Telford has been “poetically prancing” ever since January, 1948, when he turned twelve. Despite his literary bent, some of his other youthful activities were less productive. After being incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility for fighting and getting expelled from one Detroit high school in 1951, he was graduated from another in January, 1954, earned degrees from Detroit’s Wayne State University in 1958, 1961, and 1968, and rose to become Superintendent of Schools. He was also a college professor and administrator—and a human-rights activist and author, a newspaper columnist, and a radio and television commentator. He serves currently as the senior advisor on schools to Detroit Mayor Michael E. Duggan. He also serves on a number of community service boards or planning committees, including those of D-REM (Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management), Wolverine Human Services, Team for Justice, Opening Gates Family Services (President), and the Detroit Track Old-Timers. He has received considerable acclaim and several awards for his activism, including being named WSU’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2001 and getting the Joe Louis Foundation’s coveted Spirit of the Champ award ten years later. In 1982, he received the Kettering Foundation-sponsored *IDEA Distinguished Educator Award. He is also in a number of athletic halls of fame.