ABOUT JEFF TAYLOR
EARLY LIFE + EDUCATION
Jeff was born August 24, 1961 in Lenoir, North Carolina and is the oldest of Charles and Beryl Taylor’s five children. Growing up in the beautiful, historic Happy Valley area along the Yadkin River, working on the farm, and spending time with family were important parts of Jeff’s life. Jeff has two younger brothers and two younger sisters.
A love of the outdoors and sports was kindled at an early age. Horseback riding, hiking and camping were things that the Taylor children enjoyed as youngsters. Jeff also became an ardent fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Vikings during the early 1970s. Although he played baseball and football as a middle school student it was long distance running that became Jeff’s sport of excellence as he moved to high school.
During college at UNC Charlotte Jeff met, fell in love with, and married Valerie Godwin Taylor. They have two daughters Erin and Anna who are 2011 and 2013 graduates of St. Stephens High and the Catawba County School System.
A CAREER IN CATAWBA COUNTY
Jeff began his career in education as a social studies teacher at Bunker Hill High School in the fall of 1984, where he continued as a classroom teacher until 2000. During his time at the eastern Catawba County school Jeff taught Psychology, Local History and History of the Bible but his primary areas of focus were United States History and Civics.
“I love the study of the American democracy and the history of our republic” says Taylor. I have been dismayed at the lack of focus on social studies over the past two decades”, Jeff remarked. “I think much of the current vitriol in politics can be attributed to lack of attention given to the importance of being an informed, respectful citizen.”
Upon entry into his masters study in school administration Jeff was hired as an assistant principal at Bunker Hill High, a role he served in for two years. In 2002 he was appointed as principal of H.M. Arndt Middle School, where he served for five years. While at H. M. Arndt Jeff served two terms as president of the Catawba County Principal’s Association and was the 2006 Catawba County Schools Wachovia Principal of the Year.
In 2007 Jeff was asked to return to Bunker Hill as principal, where he served until 2013. During his tenure at Bunker Hill the school saw a stabilizing of the teaching staff and underwent several significant construction projects, including classroom additions, a new cafeteria and overhaul of the athletic facilities. Also, while at Bunker Hill Jeff served as Catawba County School’s representative on the Region VII Principal’s Advisory Council.
In 2013 Jeff was again asked to move schools as administrator, this time at St. Stephens High School. This was an assignment that was especially meaningful to Jeff as St. Stephens was the alma matre of his two daughters Erin (2011) and Anna (2013). Jeff retired from Catawba County Schools with 31 years of service in 2015.
Jeff began a “retirement job” as Dean of Students, Athletic Director and Civics teacher at University Christian High School, roles that he is still serving in at present. “While I have enjoyed working at University Christian I remain a staunch advocate for public schools. Students, educators and our community as a whole must have vibrant and effective public schools if we are to continue as a destination where people choose to come work, live and play”, says Taylor.