Taylor begins 25th year in schools, first as principal

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 22, 2002

What caused Beth Taylor to fail final exams in third grade was not because she lacked the knowledge, but she feared leaving the teacher she loved and did it on purpose.

In reality, Taylor had to move on, and what she took with her was the desire to do for children exactly what her third grade teacher did for her.

After working as a teacher in the Selma City Schools system for 24 years, the New Hampshire native begins her 25th year as the new principal at Byrd Elementary.

Her biggest expectation from everyone at Byrd, Taylor said, is respect. She further emphasizes to teachers that &uot;everyone can learn, you just have to find the right way to reach them.&uot;

Her personal plan encompasses strengthening student, parent, teacher and community involvement, enhancing the overall appearance of the school, and maintaining clear academic status. Byrd achieved that goal last year.

Ross Hobbs, the long-time former principal at Byrd, &uot;was instrumental in getting me into administration,&uot; Taylor said. It was Hobbs who suggested she pursue that career field. She took his advice.

Her husband, Wayne, owns Taylor Marine & Machine here in Selma. The two wed in December 1981 and have a daughter they call Nicholas. In a few months they will celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary.

Taylor has received three degrees in education. She has taught at Payne Elementary, Eastside Junior High (now the School of Discovery Genesis), and the School of Discovery, where she was head of the English department.

Her affiliations include ENCORE! Community Theater, the advisory board for Selma City Magnet Schools, the Queen of Peace parish council, and co-chair of the Alabama Tale Telling Festival. In October, Taylor will serve as president of the Selma Dallas County Council of the Arts.

At Byrd, Taylor has strategically planned her workdays so that throughout the week she visits all classes, accompanies students to lunch and reads to the kindergarten classes.

When asked how long she plans to stay at Byrd, Taylor responds, &uot;For as long as they will have me here. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.&uot;