Tara Taylor Named Virginia Thespian 2020 Administrator of the Year

News Release
January 29, 2020

Tara Taylor with awardTara Taylor, who has served as theater and dance educational specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) since 2016, has been named Virginia Thespian’s 2020 Administrator of the Year for demonstrating leadership, innovation, and advocacy in theater education and programming.

Nominator Mark Rogers, performing arts specialist with Loudoun County Public Schools, says Taylor, “is known for her tireless efforts over the years as an advocate for theatre arts…During her time as theater arts and dance specialist of Fairfax County Public Schools she has set the standard for all theater teachers with her work ethic and commitment to create a Program of Study that engages all students and prepares them to succeed in theater and in life!” 

Taylor serves as a member of the Cappies National Capital Area steering committee and host of the annual Cappies awards gala. Rogers praises her advocacy of theater arts throughout the state and her ability to create opportunities for theater educators, regardless of their district.  Taylor also currently serves as the lead theater and dance consultant for theater and dance on the Virginia Department of Education’s Standards of Learning Review and Revision group, and was appointed by the Fairfax County Government as a member of the committee to contribute to the master arts plan for creating additional county facilities and programming for the community.

Under her leadership, FCPS has revised the secondary program of studies for theater arts and technical theater, and developed planning and pacing guides for secondary theater arts.  Working with curriculum teams, several new theater and dance courses have been introduced, including technical theater appreciation, introduction to musical theater, Broadway dance, and hip hop dance. 

Taylor joined FCPS in 2008 as theater arts teacher and program director at Kilmer Middle School and worked as a theater arts teacher for FCPS’s summer Institute for the Arts.  Additionally, Taylor worked as a theater educator for Howard County (Md.) Public Schools, Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools, Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools, Anne Arundel County (Md.) Public Schools, District of Columbia charter schools, and several local and regional private theater education organizations.

Taylor advocates that “every child should have access to and opportunities for a quality theater education in their public education experience,” and that “theater is an effective tool that can be used to facilitate connections, communication, and collaboration among people of various cultures, beliefs, and perspectives.”

Taylor holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre from Elon University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  She also holds a Master of Education degree from American University and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from George Mason University.  She is currently completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech with an emphasis in theatre education and arts leadership.


For more information, contact Tara Taylor at thtaylor@fcps.edu