Dr. Robert Taylor plans for progress in district

With the start of a new school year, Walnut Valley Unified School District introduced Dr. Robert Taylor as the new superintendent, succeeding Dr. Dean Conklin in July. After working for nearly two decades in the education field, Taylor expressed his immense pleasure to be able to head an outstanding school district.

“I decided to pursue this position because of what I had previously known about [Walnut Valley]. I think the tradition here, the focus on student achievement and being one of the top performing districts year after year are some things I was really excited about,” Taylor commented.

Prior to coming to WVUSD, Taylor served as an Assistant Superintendent in the Corona-Norco Unified District, and a Principal, an Assistant Principal, an English teacher and a football coach in the Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District.

Determined to strengthen foundations and promote further progress, Taylor revealed his top three priorities: building relationships, maintaining fiscal stability, and emphasizing student achievement.

“First, I think it’s important that we remember we are in a people business. We’re all about working together for the betterment of kids,” Taylor stated.  He highlighted the importance of cooperation between faculties, the administration and teachers and students in the classrooms to maximize results.

Second, he underscored the need for prudent financial spending, stating that “with the state economy and state budget being so uncertain at times and education not being fully funded to the point that it needs to be, we have to be fiscally responsible and make sure that we take care of the business side of things and moving forward.”

Lastly, Taylor stressed the need to maintain WVUSD’s high-achieving standards. “Walnut Valley has set the bar really high in terms of kids doing well in many areas—and not just test scores. But what happens to kids after they leave us to succeed in college and in the workplace and becoming good citizens in society [is also important].”

Taylor also believes that if we can “make technology a part of our day-to-day operation, the more comfortable students will get with using real world application that are going to help them in the future.” Despite fiscal struggles that keep schools from seeing vast addition of technology in the classrooms, he hopes to continue improving in those areas.

In the future, Taylor looks forward to getting into the classrooms and watching students participate in their daily lessons. His light humor and cordial mien reflected his enthusiasm for wanting to play an active role in the learning environment.

“The reason why I first got into the business of education is because of my passion for teaching and learning and seeing kids be successful. And what better place than to come here and see it every day?” the former deputy superintendent and the principal of several schools stated.

With that same passionate attitude, Taylor hopes to strive toward greater success for the more than 14,000 students in the 15 schools of Walnut Valley.