Autumn Meadows Published

Going The Extra Mile: Amy Taylor Receives WVPB’s Above And Beyond Award

Three women stand side-by-side smiling. Dressed in business casual.
(left to right) Autumn Meadows, WVPB education specialist, Amy Taylor, WVPB Above and Beyond winner, and Maggie Holley, WVPB education director.
Autumn Meadows/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Amy Taylor, a Nationally Board Certified English teacher at Midland Trail High School in Fayette County, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award for April, which recognizes excellence and creativity of Mountain State teachers.

Taylor was presented the award by WVPB’s Education Director Maggie Holley. Taylor received a monetary award and a signature Blenko Glass blue apple paperweight. The award is sponsored by the West Virginia State Treasurers’ Office, presenter of the SMART529 college savings program in the Mountain State.

Taylor not only teaches English, but for the last nine years, has also been a part of the Early Enrollment program that offers students the opportunity to complete several pre-requisite college courses. At Midland Trail High School, she teaches English 101/102 for WVU Tech and Glenville State with an additional 12 sections online at the University of Charleston.

She said, “Between the West Virginia Invests Grant, Grow Your Own, and Early Enrollment programs, West Virginia schools, especially Midland Trail, have built and sustained outstanding opportunities for our students to find a life and career they can be proud of.”

Taylor goes above and beyond in the classroom engaging students with one of her favorite units. She begins the year with an Appalachian unit using two local memoirs that discuss poverty and adversity in West Virginia – facing many challenges and experiences that her students can relate to in their own lives. After reading one of these memoirs, Taylor brings the author to the classroom for face-to-face questions and interactions providing a powerful experience for the students. Taylor said this unit reinforces the importance of resilience.

Not only does Taylor go above and beyond in the classroom, but also in the community. She tutors after school, volunteers to work gates at sporting events, attends students’ events, helps plan and chaperone prom, and mentors teachers.

Taylor’s nominator, Michelle Moirai said, “I’ve never known any human who puts in the hours behind the scenes that this woman does. I honestly have no idea how she does it.”

Taylor said that being an active member in the community and school is important to building rapport with students and families. “Students look for us in the stands and audience just as much as they do their families; we are their family at Midland Trail.”

When Taylor was asked what she loves and enjoys most about teaching, she said hands down that she loves the lasting relationships.

“When my seniors walk across the stage, as they just did recently, I always tell them that our relationship doesn’t end at that moment… I just shift from teacher to mentor,” she said. “Knowing that so many remain in contact, through college and life’s events, shows me that my small part in their story planted a seed that grew into something great.”

Each month, WVPB has an esteemed panel of judges that select one deserving teacher who goes above and beyond for the students in West Virginia. If you know of a deserving teacher that goes “Above and Beyond,” please click here to nominate them.