State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Carolyn Stanford Taylor was named Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction in January of 2019.
With almost four decades of public education experience, including the prior 17 years as the Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Learning Support, Ms. Stanford Taylor has been dedicated to the education of our next generation and ensuring all children have an opportunity to access a quality education. She is the first African-American state superintendent in Wisconsin history.
As Wisconsin's chief state school officer and leader of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Ms. Stanford Taylor is committed to building on the vision of "Every Child a Graduate, College and Career Ready," and advancing educational equity.
Carolyn and her siblings were one of a few African American families to integrate the schools in her birthplace of Marks, Mississippi. She came to Wisconsin to pursue her college education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Becoming a true Badger fan, Ms. Stanford Taylor remained in Wisconsin and served as a classroom teacher and principal in the Madison Metropolitan School District for over twenty years.
Upon joining the DPI in 2001, Ms. Stanford Taylor became the first female African American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent and is one of Wisconsin’s longest-serving assistant state superintendents.
She and her husband, Larry, have five children all public school graduates, and two are public school educators. Her work with and for children extends beyond her professional career through service with her church and the community.