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There’s a New Head of School in Town

New Head of School Tom Taylor teaches algebra in the new junior high building. Photo courtesy of Kemi Griffin.

New Head of School Tom Taylor has had what Spanish teacher Joy Lewis-Mendez describes as an “energetic” start to his Paideia career. Taylor has expeditiously filled the role of Head of School, and has eagerly started getting to know the Paideia community. 

When asked about his first few weeks at Paideia, Taylor states, “My time so far has been terrific, I am having a blast! I really love this place.” Taylor highlights his favorite part about Paideia so far: the informality that provides uniqueness to the school. He says that while this level of informality is unique,  the schools he has taught at in the past were similarly untraditional, so Paideia has not been an overly difficult adjustment.

Many students feel that Taylor is doing an exceptional job being involved in the community. Taylor has already attended the Student-Run Musical, the first cross country meet, and even signed up to partake in John Capute’s annual paintball outing at the end of the school year. Varsity cross country runner Ben Walton-Scott ’25 expresses the impact of Taylor’s involvement, stating, “Cross country does not generally get that much Paideia support, so it meant a lot for our new Head of School to show up.”

Taylor feels that he is adjusting “as well as [possible].” Taylor acknowledges the magnitude of this change, saying that “It’s a big change for the school, to have been led for 52 years by the same person, the person who founded the school… who has been an enormous support to me. Paul has been gracious and generous.” 

Taylor has started one-on-one meetings with all the faculty members in an attempt to get to know everyone. English Teacher Tally Johnson reflects on her meeting with Taylor, commenting, “Tom is a great listener. He really wants to get to know everyone.” 

Taylor also shares his interest in connecting with the Paideia students, noting, “I’m frustrated that I can’t call every kid in the school by their name.”

When asked what Paideia means to him, Taylor highlights the importance of community, “My office is not Paideia School, even the classrooms are not Paideia School. Paideia School is the stuff we do in community with each other.” With all of the warm welcomes Taylor has received from Paideia, Taylor explains, “I just feel lucky to be here.”

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Gabe Elkinson
Gabe Elkinson, Managing Editor
Emerson Green
Emerson Green, News Editor

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