Taylor inspires and empowers every student

October 19, 2020
Tandy Taylor is steadfast in the belief that an inclusive and supportive school culture is fundamental to student learning and school success. She ensures that every student is provided with a robust, well-rounded instructional program that supports their academic and social-emotional needs.

She continues to lead efforts to expand both STEM and music instruction in all schools, collaborating with specialists to ensure students are provided with high-quality programs and authentic learning experiences to effectively develop essential 21st-century skillsets. 

“Tandy works each and every day to make Cypress a better place for students, staff, and the community at large,” Cypress SD Coordinator of Assessment and Technology Rena Gibbs said. “Her contributions these past seven years are immeasurable.” What’s your favorite book on leadership? “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. During this time, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and pulled in numerous directions. Yet, as I reflect on this book, it helps to realize nothing has really changed despite the challenges — we need to continue to build our team with the right people on the bus, support creative discipline and employ the hedgehog theory (what you are good at).  What’s your favorite quote about leadership? “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” — Harry S. Truman
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Make a decision before one is made for you. No decision is a decision. When in doubt always do what is best for students. What are the top five life hacks that you recommend for a new administrator? 1. Lay out your clothes and pack up your bag the night before! There were one too many days I have a black and blue shoe on or left my laptop at home is the rush of an early morning. 2. Shop online! Let someone else do your shopping when possible. 3. Meal prep on the weekends. 4. Use Google Suite for group projects. 5. Trust your gut. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are? It has been one step at a time. I could be an Every Student Succeeding story, too. What I did have going for me was a family who believed in me. My dad didn’t know how to navigate the system, but he would regularly tell me, “You are going to college. I can’t pay for it, but you are going.” From the time I could work, I began to save. I did go to college. I became a teacher and now an administrator. My dad passed away a few years ago, but because of him I persevered and went to college. Who is someone who inspires you? Many in my life have inspired me. In the last six months, it has been my daughter. She is 14. COVID has shifted her world tremendously. She is finding ways to be innovative and creative as she enters her freshman year of high school. All the traditional firsts look different. This is hard, yet she is preserving. When it is so easy to become disengaged, she is connecting and encouraging others. When I look at her, I have hope for the future.   What’s your pre-game ritual to get ready for a big meeting or presentation? For annual presentations, I keep a list of questions that have been asked to ensure I include the information in the next presentation, if applicable. What was the best ACSA event you’ve attended? All of them! The conferences are informative and inspiring. Over the years, I have attended many. I come away empowered.   How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position? I was fortunate to be informed of ASCA as I entered my administrative credentialing program by Dr. Colleen Crowley. Because of her, I learned of ACSA and the supports early on, from networking, professional development, and reading ACSA communications.  What has the impact of the COVID-19 worldwide health crisis taught you? This is a challenging time. “Grace” has become a word I use a lot. I recently saw a YouTube video of Maurice Cheeks when he assisted a young girl singing the National Anthem during an NBA playoff game. When he was interviewed, he stated he didn’t know why he did it, but as a father, he just had to help the young lady. He gave this girl the greatest gift. It was simple and it just changed the outcome.  The health crisis of COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to do small things that have tremendous impact. Every day we encounter students, staff, and parents who have challenges, and the layer of COVID makes this a burden that is overwhelming. How we respond may be the greatest gift we can give one another. A simple act of kindness and grace can have profound impact.
Tandy Taylor has led efforts to expand music instruction in all Cypress School District schools.
Name: Tandy Taylor Award: Curriculum & Instruction Administrator of the Year Title: Director of Instructional Services at Cypress School District ACSA highlights: member since 2002; Region 17 Chair/Representative, Curriculum, Instruction, & Accountability Council (current). Region 17 Representative, CSA Charter President for West Covina USD (2011-2013).

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