Carolyn Stanford Taylor

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Carolyn Stanford Taylor
27th Superintendent of Public Instruction of Wisconsin
In office
January 7, 2019 – July 5, 2021
GovernorTony Evers
Preceded byTony Evers
Succeeded byJill Underly
Personal details
Born1957 or 1958 (age 66–67)
Marks, Mississippi, U.S.
Political partyIndependent
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison (BA, MA)

Carolyn Stanford Taylor is an American educator who served as the 27th Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2019 to 2021.[1][2] Stanford Taylor was the first African American to serve as Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction.[2][3]

Her appointment was announced by Wisconsin Governor-elect Tony Evers in December 2018, who served as Superintendent of Public Instruction prior to his election as Governor. She did not run for the seat in 2021.[2] Prior to assuming the superintendent’s office, she served as the Assistant State Superintendent for the Wisconsin Division for Learning Support for 17 years.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in Marks, Mississippi, Stanford Taylor and her siblings were one of the first African American families to integrate the schools.[6] She attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1978 and a master's degree in educational leadership and policy analysis in 1979.[7]


Stanford Taylor served as a classroom teacher and principal in the Madison Metropolitan School District for twenty years, serving as principal of Marquette and Lincoln elementary schools and Wright Middle School. She was the first African-American president of the local teachers union. Prior to her appointment as State Superintendent, Stanford Taylor was the first female, African-American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent.[8] She supervised the Special Education Team, one of the agency's largest teams; the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team, which focused on student safety, support, and engagement; 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.[9]


Stanford Taylor is the 2018 recipient Virginia Hart Special Recognition, an award bestowed by the Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management, to female state employees "who are making a difference through their service to Wisconsin."[10]


  1. ^ "Tony Evers to appoint longtime Madison educator as next state schools chief". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Carolyn Stanford Taylor to be appointed next state superintendent". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. December 27, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  3. ^ Richmond, Todd. "Wisconsin to get first Black as state school superintendent". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  4. ^ Carolyn Stanford Taylor is new State School Superintendent | Here and Now, retrieved 2019-01-14
  5. ^ "Cabinet of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. November 6, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  6. ^ Dahmer, David. "Carolyn Stanford Taylor Awarded Virginia Hart Special Recognition". Madison365. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  7. ^ "UW-Madison alum Stanford Taylor takes over as state superintendent". Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Assistant State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor named next state superintendent". 2018-12-27. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  9. ^ "Colleagues Of Stanford Taylor Say She Is Right Choice For State Superintendent". Wisconsin Public Radio. 2018-12-28. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  10. ^ RELEASE, NEWS. "Carolyn Stanford Taylor to be appointed next state superintendent". Retrieved 2019-01-14.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction
Succeeded by