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Taylor named Principal of the Year

By Stephen Floyd

Mount Angel Middle School Principal Jeff Taylor has been named Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year for his relationship-building and inspiring approach to academics.

The title was awarded June 22 during the annual conference of the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), in Seaside.

In a news release, COSA said Taylor has had a positive impact noticed by teachers and students alike, despite joining the district just last year.

“(Taylor) is a principal who cares deeply for his community and leads transformative change with purpose and with students at the center,” said COSA Executive Director Craig Hawkins.

Taylor joined Mount Angel Sschool District in 2022 after spending time as a principal in the Woodburn School District. At the start of the last school year, Taylor said his goal was to help teachers feel prepared and supported, and to build a system that gives meaningful help to students who fall behind.

COSA said Taylor’s bilingual skills have played a key role in accomplishing these goals, as well as building relationships with local families. He speaks English and Spanish, and is working on his Russian.

COSA said Taylor’s caring nature was also “vital to building strong relationships with families, students, and staff.”

“(Taylor) is known as a relational leader who is patient and a thoughtful communicator who builds inclusive environments and supports the learning of each of his students,” said the news release. “…His dedication and commitment are noticed by staff, students, and the community.”

MASD Superintendent Rachel Stucky described Taylor as “a knowledgeable educator and an authentic instructional leader.”

The award places Taylor in the running for National Middle School Principal of the Year awarded by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in October. He will also be recognized at COSA’s national conference in Denver this summer along with winners from other states.

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