Mike Taylor: Reporting for duty

Sandra ClarkOur Town Leaders, Our Town Youth

Mike Taylor, the new CEO for the Knox Education Foundation (KEF), has arrived. His contract started Jan. 2, 2023. “It is great to be home and I am excited about working with the talented team at Knox Education Foundation,” said Taylor in a press statement.

Taylor and his family relocated to Knoxville from Richmond, Virginia, where he has headed the Henrico Education Foundation since 2014.

Mike Taylor grew up in Oak Ridge and received a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Tennessee in 1995. His wife, Julie Mills Taylor, is a Chattanooga native and a 1996 graduate of UT Knoxville. They have three children, two in high school and the oldest is a senior at UT Knoxville and member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band.

The Knox Education Foundation is the current name for what started as the Great Schools Partnership. Under the leadership of Buzz Thomas and Stephanie Welch, the GSP raised considerable money to help launch innovative programs in Knox County Schools.

Taylor certainly has the credentials to do a great job here. And he writes a tight sentence that touches all the bases. He had to have written this himself because no one else around here knows him. Anyhow, the press release says:

Taylor is a dynamic, results-oriented champion for public schools and advocate for education reform, with an emphasis on innovation, opportunity and equity, especially for students from under-resourced communities. He is an exceptional relationship builder, with a long record of forging effective partnerships with school administrators, concerned citizens, parents, business leaders and elected officials to create initiatives aimed at transforming public education.

With 61 short words, he stroked everyone who wants or already owns a piece of KCS.

Welcome, Mike Taylor. I’m glad you are a “champion for public schools” because we sure need some.

Teachers and kids are better off with a “champion” raising money for public schools than for competing private charters.

Go find Buzz Thomas; take him to lunch; learn from him. Buzz was very, very good at this job.

And know that the majority of Knox County residents support Knox County Schools, especially our own community school – no matter where we live.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.


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