Charlottesville educator is new school superintendent
|Above, members of the Middlesex County School Board pose with new county school superintendent Dr. Thomas W. Taylor. From left are Jim Goforth, Garland Harrow, Elliott Reed, Dr. Taylor, Claudia Soucek and Richard Shores. (Photo by Larry Chowning)|
by Larry S. Chowning
The Middlesex County School Board has appointed Dr. Thomas W. Taylor to the position of superintendent of schools starting January 1, 2013 and continuing through June 30, 2016.
Dr. Taylor will replace Dr. James F. Lane, who is leaving the position to become school superintendent in Goochland County.
Dr. Taylor currently serves as principal of Charlottesville High School, overseeing more than 1,200 students and over 150 staff members. He also participates in and leads numerous division-wide committees at the central office level for the Charlottesville City Schools.
On his new position as Superintendent of Middlesex County Public Schools (MCPS), Dr. Taylor said, “I am honored to be joining such an outstanding school system. I am humbled by the trust that the school board has placed in me, and “I am excited to meet with the students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members to hear their ideas on how to make MCPS an even better place for students to learn. I am confident that through community engagement and collaboration, we will see amazing student achievement and community outcomes. My family and I are thrilled to move closer to friends and family; we can’t wait to join the Middlesex community.”
Middlesex School Board chairman Elliott Reed said, “Dr. Taylor stood out among the other candidates as someone who could really connect with our community long term. He has a proven track record of holding high expectations and leading all students to personal and academic success. The board is confident that we will continue on our current path toward excellence under Dr. Taylor’s leadership.”
At the University of Virginia, Dr. Taylor is an adjunct professor and teaches graduate level courses in school finances and public school administration.
Prior to his service in Charlottes-ville, Dr. Taylor was an assistant principal, school improvement specialist (assessment coordinator), and social studies teacher at Landstown High School and Technology Academy (2,300 students) in Virginia Beach.
While serving as the school improvement specialist at Landstown in 2006, the Virginia Beach City Public Schools recognized Dr. Taylor with the Superintendent’s Quality Award for his effort leading a team that significantly increased English SOL scores.
In 2005, Dr. Taylor was named a “Distinguished Teacher” by his colleagues for his work as a social studies teacher and activity sponsor at Landstown High School.
Dr. Taylor began his career in education as a substitute teacher and then as a social studies teacher in Chesapeake before moving to Virginia Beach.
Since his tenure began in 2008 at Charlottesville High School, Dr. Taylor has been credited with leading the school to increased achievement for all students, increased student attendance, increased graduation rates, and increased technological enhancements, while also dramatically decreasing the dropout rate and student disciplinary infractions.
Dr. Taylor currently serves on the Virginia High School League’s Executive Committee and the Region Ten Community Services Board.
He is the nationally recognized winner of the (University of Virginia) Curry School of Education Foundation Outstanding Principal alumni award for 2012.
Dr. Taylor holds a BA degree in social sciences and secondary education from Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, a master of education degree in educational leadership from the University of Virginia, and a doctor of education degree in education policy from the University of Virginia. Dr. Taylor’s doctoral dissertation focused on superintendent leadership and is titled “Superintendent Levels of Desirability for Professional Development.”
Dr. Taylor is the 2008 winner of the prestigious William H. Seawell memorial award from the Curry School of Education Foundation for scholarship in the University of Virginia Superintendent’s preparation program.
Dr. Taylor is married to Elizabeth Lee Taylor of Essex County and is the father of three daughters, Sydney (age 16), Macy (age 10), and Ellee (age 5).