School of Education News

UW-Madison alum Stanford Taylor receives 2018 Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award

June 04, 2018

UW-Madison alumna Carolyn Stanford Taylor was presented the 2018 Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award during a ceremony Thursday, May 31, at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Stanford Taylor serves as the assistant superintendent of the Division for Learning Support at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from the School of Education in 1978 and received a master’s from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 1979.

Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Stanford Taylor
“Carolyn is a compassionate and impactful leader who is integral in our agency’s efforts to educate and serve all kids,” State Superintendent Tony Evers said in this Wisconsin DPI news release announcing the award. “Her life-long commitment to advancing equity by increasing educational opportunity for all of our students has long served as a model for other employees of the department. Our agency and Wisconsin’s schools are blessed on a daily basis to have her 38 years of educational experience.”

The Wisconsin DPI release explains how Stanford Taylor, along with her siblings, were one of a few black families to integrate the schools in her birthplace of Marks, Mississippi. She came here to attend UW–Madison to pursue a degree in elementary education and served as a classroom teacher and principal in the Madison Metropolitan School District. She also became the first African-American president of the local teachers’ union.

Upon joining the DPI in 2001, Stanford Taylor became the first female, African-American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent. She is now one of Wisconsin’s longest serving assistant state superintendents. The oversees the Special Education Team, the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team, which focuses on keeping students safe, supported and engaged, and the residential schools for students who are blind and visually impaired in Janesville and students who are deaf and hard of hearing in Delavan. Her work with and for children extends beyond her professional career through service with her church and the community.

The Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award is administered by the Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management. The award is named for Virginia Hart, Wisconsin’s first woman cabinet secretary and is awarded annually to female state employees who are making a difference through their service to Wisconsin.


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