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Troy Elementary School Assistant Principal Joanna Taylor Named Alabama's 2020 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal

by Alyssa Godfrey, Director of Communications & Technology | Mar 09, 2020
Dr. Joanna Taylor, assistant principal at Troy Elementary School in the Troy City School System has been named Alabama’s 2020 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal by the Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators (AAESA). The awards program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

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TROY, ALA. – FEBRUARY 27, 2020: Dr. Joanna Taylor, assistant principal at Troy Elementary School in the Troy City School System has been named Alabama’s 2020 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal by the Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators (AAESA). The awards program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

Taylor’s career in education began in 2002 as a gifted education teacher at Troy Elementary School. She was chosen as the school’s assistant principal in 2013. Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree from Troy University in 2002, a master’s from the University of South Alabama in 2005, a doctoral degree in educational leadership in 2011 from Nova Southeastern University, and a master’s degree in school leadership from Auburn University Montgomery in 2013.

Taylor is credited with revising the school’s master schedule to allow for more physical education and recess time without negatively impacting reading instruction. After gathering data and feedback from stakeholders, the new schedule provided 40 minutes of physical education and 20 minutes of recess time daily. She also met with teachers to discuss ways to use recess to model and provide practice for social-emotional growth and interpersonal relations. The changes have had a significant and positive impact on the school’s climate and culture.

Among Taylor’s many accomplishments, she also saw a need for a clearly articulated, comprehensive assessment plan that included progress monitoring and mechanisms to systematically make changes to instructional pacing and methodology in response to data collection. Taylor worked with the school’s teachers to conduct grade-level PLCs and vertical planning sessions to develop the plan. As a result, the school adopted a tiered approach to screening, diagnostic, and benchmark assessments.

“It is very evident that student well-being and achievement are the priority and basis for Dr. Taylor’s leadership within our school,” said Troy Elementary School Principal Teresa Sims. “As her principal, I am also extremely grateful for her willingness to listen, collaborate with fellow administrators, and encourage everyone to be their best for children.”

A panel of judges selected Taylor from numerous applicants across the state of Alabama.  Dr. Taylor’s award was presented at the AAESA District 9 meeting in Troy on February 27, 2020.  

“Dr. Taylor is a true champion for children and an exemplary school leader,” said CLAS and AAESA Executive Director Vic Wilson, Ed.D. “She is an asset to the Troy Elementary School community and is very deserving of this award.”

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About the NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal Award: The National Association of Elementary School Principals is committed to preparing assistant principals to step into the principal role. We want to honor assistant principals who are doing a superb job in their roles. This program promotes educational excellence for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade (Pre-K-8) schooling and calls attention to the fundamental importance of the assistant principal. NAESP will share their successes and best practices in a practical document for other principals to utilize.

About AAESA and CLAS: The Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators is an affiliate association of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS).  CLAS is an umbrella association that serves eleven different affiliates comprised of Alabama’s public school administrators.  CLAS is dedicated to providing the framework to connect dedicated school administrators and other successful leaders with a network for professional growth and support.  For more information, visit www.clasleaders.org.

Photo: Dr. Joanna Taylor named Alabama’s 2020 National Outstanding Assistant Principal. [download photo] Pictured (left to right): Troy Elementary School Principal Teresa Sims, Alabama’s 2020 National Outstanding Principal and Assistant Principal of Troy Elementary School Joanna Taylor, and AAESA/CLAS Executive Director Vic Wilson, Ed.D.