July 25, 2012 — Thomas Taylor, principal of Charlottesville High School, has been selected from a pool of national nominees to receive the 2012 Outstanding Principal Award from the Curry School of Education Foundation. The award is presented annually to a graduate of the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education.
Taylor became principal at Charlottesville High in 2008. Terri Perkins, Walker Upper Elementary School principal, said Taylor is "an outstanding leader, an agent of change for the right reasons and in the right ways, and a courageous educator doing a very tough job."
In Taylor's first three years, the on-time graduation rate at Charlottesville High increased from 74.6 percent to 83.8 percent, the drop-out rate decreased from 17.8percent to 5.1 percent, student grade-level retentions decreased by half and minority enrollment in Advanced Placement classes tripled.
"If leadership can be defined as being able to get people to do what they otherwise may not be apt to accomplish or take on, Thomas holds incredible potential to lead," Perkins said. "Many people rose to the occasion to help CHS improve, but it was Thomas who asked them to stand up."
Taylor also serves on the Region Ten Community Services Board and is chair-elect of all state Group AA schools for the Virginia High School League.
Taylor received his bachelor of arts degree from Virginia Wesleyan College in 2000, his master of education degree from U.Va. in 2006 and a doctor of education degree in administration and supervision from U.Va. in 2010.
He will attend a dinner and receive his award at the Curry School of Education on Oct. 25.