Meet Washington County superintendent candidate: Joe Taylor

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Joe Taylor (R) is the incumbent superintendent for Washington County schools and is running for re-election against Martha Compton (R).

Who is Joe Taylor?

Taylor has been superintendent for 8 years. Prior to that he was a small business owner. He was also director of facilities and operations and was part of the planning commission for the school district.

Before that he said he worked in private enterprise and as the sheriff’s finance director.

He is U.S. Army veteran and he graduated Vernon High School.

What are your top three priorities going into next year?

  1. To get schools started and bring everyone back safely.

What precautions are you taking to keep students and staff safe?

The SRO program keeps students safe from violence-related threats, Taylor said.

We will do our best with social isolation and looking at more innovative ways of serving lunch, he said. We would like to proved masks or shields to staff and offer an innovative learning program for those who don’t feel comfortable coming back to brick and mortar utilizing the Florida Virtual School curriculum, he added.

How will you cater to those who may not feel safe coming back but also may not have sufficient wifi where they live?

A possible return to the delivery service of pen and paper, he said.

What are your thoughts on career and technical training?

It’s a good way to open doors for students, he said.

Are you satisfied with your graduation and dropout rates and GPA?

“Everything can be improved,” Taylor said.

But it’s not about inflating those numbers just to make the district look good, he said, it’s about a steady, sustainable improvement.

Graduation and dropout rate can be addressed by reinforcing the value of education, Taylor said. He said he wants to make the value of education “real.”

“I would hope no student would think, ‘I don’t have enough options so I need to drop out,'” Taylor said.

How would you raise morale among staff?

Giving them stability, Taylor said. Especially now, during COVID-19, he said.

Meet the other candidates running for office this year.

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