Title: Education Policy Advisor
As the Education Policy Advisor, Taylor oversees policy work on the local, state and federal levels. She also works on new initiatives and supports strategy on the programming team. Taylor is passionate about finding ways to put theory into practice that best serve teachers and students and make classroom-to-community connections.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Policy Studies, she joined New York City Teaching Fellows and learned with the best while teaching special education at a public school in East Harlem. She also earned a Masters’ Degree in Special and General Education Curriculum from Hunter College. Five years later, she moved back to the Chicago area and continued teaching 5th grade. For the past seven years, Taylor worked as an instructional coach, supporting teachers and district administration through a variety of initiatives. A curious thinker and lifelong tinkerer, Taylor loves getting to learn with Pilot Light educators and their classrooms from across the country.
Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #7: We can advocate for food choices and changes that impact ourselves, our communities, and our world.
In the classroom, one of my favorite units to teach was research-based argument essay. Students got to choose a topic they were passionate about, form ideas, research, revise their thinking and present an argument. They got to question, learn and problem-solve. The biggest question we would ask one another throughout this process was SO WHAT. We know more now, so what are we going to do about it. I love FES 7 because it is the SO WHAT standard. It helps all learners combine their knowledge with their voice to tell a story that makes an impact.
A favorite food memory or recipe:
Growing up, my family and I were frequent customers at a diner in our town. No matter the time of day, I always ordered the grilled cheese deluxe with extra pickles on the side. Before I left for college out of state, I visited the restaurant and throughout our meal every server took turns bringing me a plate of extra pickles. Whenever I was home, I was greeted with a loud, GRILLED CHEESE DELUXE IS BACK, when I walked in the door and by the time I sat down, a plate of pickles was waiting for me. This summer, I grew my own cucumbers for the first time and my family has been tinkering to find the perfect pickle recipe. To me pickles are not only delicious but they represent the power of food to connect people.