Shenandoah County Public Schools employee wins state award

Tim Taylor, instructional technology supervisor for Shenandoah County Public Schools, works from his desk inside the School Board office in Woodstock. The Virginia Society of Technology recently named Taylor the Outstanding Leader of the Year. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Virginia Society for Technology in Education  has named Tim Taylor, Shenandoah County Public Schools Supervisor of Instructional Technology, as its 2017 Outstanding Leader of the Year.

“I am humbled by it,” Taylor said.

“The work they do in the schools is a team effort,” Taylor said of the society. “In our tech department and in our schools, they are top notch.”

This is his first state award. Taylor has previously won regional recognition for leadership in technology.

He was recognized on Dec. 4 at the society’s  annual conference in Roanoke. The award goes to “educational leaders who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education,” according to a prepared statement.

“Technology is not the answer to education but it provides a great tool. It’s like infrastructure just like water and sewer lines,” Taylor said.

Shenandoah County’s six instructional technology resource coaches  surprised Taylor by nominating him. The nomination form was written by Rebecca Coffman.

“Tim’s respect for all members of the educational community, his sincere interest in not just technology but in “people” generates a rapport with all who meet him,” Coffman wrote on the nomination form. “Tim recognizes excellence in education is a journey, not a destination. I have enormous respect for Tim. When anyone is talking with Tim, the one statement he most often says is “People. It is all about the kids. Remember, it is all about the kids.”

It was not until Coffman called to congratulate him as he was driving to a Strasburg High School athletic event  that he was told that they had nominated him for the leadership award.

The group listed Taylor’s accomplishments, initiative and responsibilities on the nomination form.  Some of them are:

  • Advocates for new technology initiatives, such as robotics, STEM, a technology device for each child (such as a computer)
  • Researches new technology, software, apps and educational sites so he can mentor teachers and administrators
  • Creates and teaches graduate technology courses at Eastern Mennonite University and Shenandoah University. He has also hosted workshops for the  Lord Fairfax Community College Education Consortium, Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation, and others.

Shenandoah County Superintendent Mark Johnston included a letter with the nomination form.

“Tim Taylor offers support to all staff and to members of our community, as well as to others beyond ourselves. His help and assistance has had a great impact on the positive use of instructional technology within our division. I have not met a more deserving candidate for the VSTE Leaders of the Year Award.”