The OCSA Ledger’s Goodbye to Ms. Taylor

Apryl Taylor. Obtained from the OCSA website.

Apryl Taylor. Obtained from the OCSA website.

Emilyanne Richart, Reporter

After years of teaching social studies at OCSA and leading numerous clubs, Apryl Taylor is opening the next chapter of her life. Ms. Taylor created a welcoming atmosphere in her classroom and invited students to voice their opinions and do their best at school and extracurriculars. She was dedicated to ensuring that all of her students had the chance to succeed in her classes and clubs and always went the extra mile to do so. Although this farewell is hard for her students who not only adored her classes but also her caring nature, we all wish her the best of luck with her new job.

Ms. Taylor sponsored numerous clubs including Speech and Debate, Arts Ambassadors, and March for Our Lives. When asked what was her favorite part about sponsoring clubs, she stated “Speech and Debate holds a special place in my heart. It is an incredible accomplishment to look back on our medals, trophies, and 11 national qualifiers. My favorite part of sponsoring the activity, however, was seeing the tremendous growth in students. Students exit each unit and competition with a stronger skill set in critical thinking and public speaking.” Next, she congratulated Arts Ambassadors who help out with performances, graduations, or concerts, by holding the door for people and escorting them to their seats. Ms. Taylor stated that, “Arts Ambassadors at graduation was always so exciting. There are so many responsibilities so it is an exhausting evening but it was always nice to see their leadership in action at our most intensive event.” Next, she prided the students in March for Our Lives, a club that advocates for gun control in America, for their leadership roles and outspokenness. Ms. Taylor stated that, “I have been humbled to watch the last three student boards as they have taken initiative, expanded their influence, and advocated their vision.” Ms. Taylor ended with a hopeful sentiment, stating, “I know the future of our community and nation is hopeful because I see the vision of the students leading Arts Ambassadors, March for Our Lives, and Speech and Debate.”

When asked what her fondest memories at OCSA were, Ms. Taylor had a lot on her mind, including the first OCSA recital she ever attended. Ms. Taylor stated that she remembers “being so moved and inspired by the performers” and that she “really appreciated being at a school that respected and encouraged its students by giving them the space, the time, and the audience for their art. Every performance and classroom since then has been a gift in its own right.” Ms. Taylor reminisces of the wonderful students and teachers at OCSA, stating that, “It has truly been a pleasure to be able to teach such wonderful students and to work with these dedicated teachers. I will take all the memories- the heartbreaking, the joyous, the hilarious, and the mundane- with me. I hope that I have provided memories students will look back on positively. My students may not remember the causes of the Seven Years’ War, the elements influencing GDP, or the names of logical fallacies. I hope they do remember being provided with a safe environment, given opportunities to grow, and challenged to think critically about their past and their surroundings.”

This goodbye is bittersweet, as although we will miss her, Ms. Taylor is going to be at a new job where she can create even more positive change. She stated that her new job is going to be vastly different from teaching, claiming that it is “scary but exciting.” She then added, “I’m going to be able to develop curriculum and create professional development. What I am most excited about, however, is the opportunity to support other teachers. This job is so incredibly rewarding but that doesn’t mean it isn’t equally exhausting. The responsibilities placed on the profession are exponentially increasing while the salary remains relatively stagnant. I won’t be in a position to lessen those responsibilities nor will I be able to adjust their salaries. However, I hope to ensure that my role is to lessen their stress rather than add to it. I will take my approach to teaching and transfer it into my style of leadership.” Lastly, she added, “Wish me luck!”

The OCSA Ledger, student body, and staff all wish Ms. Taylor the best of luck. We are so proud of all the work she has done here at OCSA and can’t wait to see what she is going to do next! It is evident that she is a great teacher and more importantly, an amazing person. We’re all going to miss you Ms. Taylor, but we’re so happy to see you move forward! Good luck with your new job!