William P. Wagner was born 1 May 1899 in Edmonton, to Philip and Amelia (Berg) Wagner. William had four siblings, Rudolph, Edward, Dorothy and Gertrude.
William attended Queen’s Avenue School and then Victoria High School. Upon graduation from Victoria High School in 1916, he completed six months training at the Camrose Normal School. The following year, at the age of 16 yrs, he began his teaching career in the one-room Castle School in the Fort Saskatchewan, AB, area. He served in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Upon returning to Edmonton, he taught in Daysland and Viking, AB., then became principal of the high school in Mannville, AB. In 1929, he took a teaching position at the Strathcona High School. In the 1930’s, he attended the University of Alberta, earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees in education while teaching at Alberta College and the Edmonton Technical School at night.
In 1942 he enlisted in the Canadian Army, serving in the personnel section in Canada and overseas until his discharge with the rank of Major in 1946. Back in Edmonton he joined the Edmonton Public School Board as its first counselor and head of the board’s department of guidance. In 1950 he became the Assistant Superintendent of the school board, then Deputy Superintendent in 1954. He served as Superintendent of the School board from 1955 to 1964. Upon retirement in 1964, a school in Edmonton was named after him and he was given the Distinguished Service Award by the Alberta Teachers’ Association. The University of Alberta awarded an honorary doctor of laws to William Wagner in 1982.
William married Olinda Manz and they had three children, Dorcas, Elaine and William.
William P. Wagner died 6 Aug 1986.