Spotlight on Dr. Hervey Taylor: Another Reason to Check Out Jessup’s School of Education
Leadership in Jessup’s School of Education (SOE) is composed of highly sought-after educators, many who are experts in their field. Dr. Hervey Taylor is no exception, having held impressive careers in the legislative field, and education. Before becoming an educator, Dr. Taylor completed an internship in the Connecticut General Assembly, served on the legislative staff in the Michigan State Senate and House of Representatives, and the Oklahoma State Senate. He also worked for the state government as a member of the Governor’s Performance team in Oklahoma.
As a former school administrator, Dr. Taylor brings over 25 years of experience in education. He has served as a teacher and leader in K-12 public and independent schools and is the founding principal of H. Allen Hight Elementary School in the Natomas Unified School District. Taylor also earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of the Pacific and later served as assistant clinical professor and site coordinator for UOP’s PREP Tiger Teach Program.
While working at the Placer County Office of Education, Taylor met Jessup’s Associate Dean, Dr. David Bills. “When you think about it, the network of people in education is quite large,” Taylor said. ” But, Jessup’s SOE staff have taught in nearly every area throughout our region. All major school districts are covered by someone from SOE and we’ve had long standing connections with so many people.”
It was Bills who shared an opportunity that opened the door to Taylor becoming a University Supervisor to student teachers, and eventually, teaching an online class for Jessup during the pandemic. By March of 2021, Taylor transitioned to full time teaching at Jessup. Currently, Taylor is the SOE’s Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies where he embraces the opportunity to prepare students to do the work he loves.
Working in a Christian environment is also important to Taylor. “I’m adamant about making it known that above everything else, I’m a Christian first,” he said. Representing Jessup in this capacity not only aligns with his higher purpose, it also allows students to gain expertise from a seasoned professional. As a teacher, Dr. Taylor was selected as Teacher of the Year in two separate school districts, once by the students and once by the staff. “In my years working in administration, so often I would see first-year teachers struggling with classroom management or working with parents,” Taylor said. “It fueled my desire to help prepare teachers better.”
With the need for skilled teachers in high demand, Jessup’s SOE delivers a unique program designed to equip students to be teachers who make a difference. “With all the challenges teachers face, the need to prepare Christian teachers for the public school system is greater than ever,” Taylor said. “We need to train teachers to work with a variety of student learners and move away from a cookie cutter approach that all students are the same. That simply isn’t true. What works for one doesn’t work for all, and we’re helping teachers acquire methods and strategies to address these issues.”
Jessup’s SOE differentiates itself by providing a pathway for students to earn their degree and credential in just four years as well as the ability to student teach in the classroom early on in their educational process. “Our students get a vast array of exposure to various school settings,” Taylor said. “Our students start out assisting in a Title One school and get thirty hours of field experience. I can tell you one thing is certain. Our students are more prepared than students from other programs throughout our region. In addition, we really get to know our students holistically.”
One way the SOE gets to know students is through the care team meetings they run, specific to their department. “We meet every Monday to discuss ways to help our students,” Taylor said. “We identify a student who may be struggling or having trouble getting their credential and follow up with them to see where they need help. It’s just part of who we are.”
Jessup’s SOE has hosted two webinars recently. On November 14, 2023 the topic was “Transformation of Education in California”. On January 2, 2024 the webinar topic was “The Moral Identity of an Educator”. These webinars are now available on YouTube.
The SOE will host two additional webinars accessible to the public. First, on February 6 at 4 p.m., the webinar will discuss Pedagogy and follows Robert Marzano’s book The Art and Science of Teaching. “This isn’t just for K-12 teaching, it incorporates higher education as well,” Taylor said. “Teaching is more than bricks and mortar, it’s about the process of learning.” Another topic covered in the webinar explores Bloom’s Taxonomy, a framework consisting of six major categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. In addition, the webinar will look at Richard and Rebecca DuFour’s take on professional learning communities (PLCs).
The second webinar is March 6 at 4 p.m. and focuses on the Family Centered Teaching model. “It’s difficult to produce a successful student if there is no partnership with the family,” Taylor said.