MADISON — Today, Carolyn Stanford Taylor was presented the 2018 Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award with her family, friends, and co-workers during a ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol. She serves as the assistant superintendent of the Division for Learning Support at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
“Carolyn is a compassionate and impactful leader who is integral in our agency’s efforts to educate and serve all kids,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Her life-long commitment to advancing equity by increasing educational opportunity for all of our students has long served as a model for other employees of the department. Our agency and Wisconsin’s schools are blessed on a daily basis to have her 38 years of educational experience.”
Stanford Taylor, along with her siblings, were one of a few African American families to integrate the schools in her birthplace of Marks, Mississippi. She came here to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison to pursue a degree in elementary education and served as a classroom teacher and principal in the Madison Metropolitan School District. She also became the first African-American president of the local teachers union.
Upon joining the DPI in 2001, Stanford Taylor became the first female, African-American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent. She is now one of Wisconsin’s longest serving assistant state superintendents, overseeing the Special Education Team, one of the agency’s largest teams, the Student Services / Prevention and Wellness Team, which focuses on keeping students safe, supported, and engaged, and the residential schools for students who are blind and visually impaired in Janesville and students who are deaf and hard of hearing in Delavan. Her work with and for children extends beyond her professional career through service with her church and the community.
The Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award is administered by the Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management. The award is named for Virginia Hart, Wisconsin’s first woman cabinet secretary and is awarded annually to female state employees who are making a difference through their service to Wisconsin.