Hervey A. Taylor III, Retired, 2015, Natomas Unified School District
Former principal isn't done with education, as he works on his doctorate
Retired principal Hervey A. Taylor III spent his educational career motivating and encouraging students toward the direction of success. He currently is working on a doctoral degree that focuses on educational leadership and organizational development so he can continue to be an advocate for students as they navigate through the educational system.
Was becoming an educator your first career choice?
I worked in politics for a while. I had an internship in the Connecticut General Assembly and worked in the Michigan State Senate, the Michigan House of Representatives and the Oklahoma State Senate. I didn’t like some of the things I saw when I visited my children’s classrooms, so I used vacation days to serve as a substitute teacher.
I took a pay cut to become a teacher but I really liked helping students reach their learning goals and become productive members of society. In 2005, I became the vice principal of Natomas Middle School and in 2008, I served as interim principal at American Lakes Elementary School before accepting the position to become the first principal of H. Allen Hight Elementary School.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced as an educator?
One of the biggest challenges was trying to eliminate the impact of issues students had outside of school that affected their learning in school. A number of my students were poor, homeless, victims of abuse, in the foster care system and from divorced households. Many of these students had a difficult time learning because of their circumstances. I visited my students’ homes and went to their extracurricular activities off campus to support them and show we cared about them. As a teacher, I typically did 150 home visits each school year.
How are you spending your retirement?
I am in a doctoral program at University of the Pacific and focusing on educational leadership and organizational development. I hope to work in higher education in the future. I am also serving as a coach to new and aspiring school administrators through the Sacramento County Office of Education Leadership Institute. I am also spending more time with my grandchild.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I think retirement is just the end of a chapter in the big book of life. We all should be excited about starting new chapters in our lives. Our education and experience gives us an opportunity to do new things in extraordinary ways. We can really make a positive impact on current leaders and organizations.
Teacher Talk is a series of profiles on California teachers and other educators. To be considered for a future profile, please email Communications@CalSTRS.com, with Teacher Talk in the subject line.
This profile also appears in Retired Educator Summer 2016, as part of the “How Are You Spending Your Retirement” series, focusing on career accomplishments and retirement adventures of our members.