Getting to Know Mrs. Taylor

Getting to Know Mrs. Taylor

Mrs Taylor has been working at Rye High School for 17 years. She started her career here as the Assistant Principal for Guidance and Student Support Services, but has been the Principal for the last eight years. This is a lightly edited transcript of our interview. 

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: Lots of different things. Some of it depends upon my mood, and some of it depends upon on the time of year. Like in the summer, I love to go to the beach, I love to paddle board, believe it or not (laughs). In the winter, we really do enjoy skiing, so I try to get out a little bit. And then sort of an everyday, like some of things I really enjoy are going for long walks. My poor dog (laughs) gets tired sometimes.

Q: What was the last book you read or movie you saw that you would recommend?

A: One of the last books that I read was more of a professional book, and it was called Doing School. And I really enjoy reading fun books, but this was a professional book to talk about what a student’s day and their programs look like. The reason I really liked it is because we’re starting to talk about making sure we’re doing what’s right for students. And, so it really home in a lot of ways. The last movie… Well, just because it’s the time of year: My favorite movie is The Grinch. I like the Dr. Seuss version, but I do like the Jim Carrey version, too. I am a huge Grinch fan.

Q: What is something you are passionate about?

A: I think I’m passionate about my family and friends. Their wellbeing, and spending time with both family and friends is super important to me. I have to say that I realized also in the last couple of months that my job is really a passion. You know I sometimes think that there’s a lot of things going on and it’s a little overwhelming, but every morning, I love coming to work. So I do think that’s a kind of passion.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your career path and how you got to where you are now?

A: I’d have to say taking risks. I started out in college admissions, and I used to recruit and encourage students to apply to college. And then, I became a guidance counselor and I worked for a couple different schools. And seeing the difference in schools and the difference in communities has been important in how it relates to my job. And when I came as an assistant principal, I really felt that it was going to be a time in my life where my work could help students, but I could also have a direct impact on making sure things went well for them. I always like to say my favorite expression is, “Is this in the best interest of students?” And so I think that’s what drives my career, like always trying to look at something and ask: is this in the best interest of students?

Q: How did your work as a guidance counselor prepare you to be a principal?

A: I think it taught me to listen. And like what I just said, sort of my motto, as a guidance counselor, you’re always trying to help students, whether it’s through a difficult experience or an exciting experience, such as looking at colleges or looking at something to do when they graduate, those are the really exciting things. But spending time and listening to how you can help students, and I think as principal, it’s a little bit different. It’s students and faculty and the community, and it’s what can we do to help support everyone, but specifically students, and make sure that we’re giving them the best opportunities, the most protections. Mental health is important to me, and I think that is from my guidance background, and it’s an important part of being a principal.

Q: It has been announced that the schedule is going to change at the beginning of the 2020 school year. How do you think this will improve Rye High School?

A: I really believe from the bottom of my heart that it’s going to give students a healthier approach and a more balanced approach to their education. By having a rotation, by having a little bit longer in class (it’s only 13 more minutes) to really spend time, and get a lot of their questions answered. It’s just their education. And I’m so incredibly excited about the unit lunch, or community lunch, they’re going to call it. Everyone’s going to have a chance to stop, spend time with friends, eat lunch, relax. So it’s going to calm our pace, and I think that’s what we really need to do, calm our pace.

Q: What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to your high school years?

A: Be open minded. Consider all possibilities. And find ways to have some fun.