School Board President Arlene Taylor, 55, dies
CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County School Board President Arlene Taylor died Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, at Georgetown University Medical Center, the board office announced Tuesday. Taylor was 55.
The statement expressed sadness at her passing and noted, “She was a champion for her community and the love she demonstrated for her community will be her living legacy.”
Taylor had been ill for some time and was absent intermittently from board functions over the summer before taking a leave of absence Aug. 1
“Thank you all for your recent expressions of concern about my health,” Taylor wrote in her letter
requesting the leave. “I have missed seeing all of you and working with you lately, especially as we get ready for a promising new school year with our new Superintendent.”
Taylor said her leave of absence was spurred by her concern that the board not be slowed or inconvenienced by her personal schedule, and based on her doctors’ advice and treatment regimen.
Taylor was elected to the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education in 2014. She was in the third year of a four-year term and became president in Januar y 2017.
She had anticipated returning by the end of October. In Taylor’s absence, Annette DiMaggio has served as acting president, with Jennifer George filling in as acting vice president.
One behalf of the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, President Steve Wilson expressed their “extreme regret and sorrow at the loss of Bishop Taylor.”
“We are thankful for her service to the county and her many contributions,” he said.
When Taylor ran for the at-large school board seat in 2014, she said she would address equality and diversity in the school system and ensure that teachers are treated fairly.
“I decided to run because it’s always been about the children and making sure there is equality through the school system and diversity and teachers that understand different cultures,” Taylor said. “I want to make sure there is fairness for all the workers, especially the teachers, and to make sure teachers are being treated fairly.
“They (teachers) do go above and beyond the call of duty when they stay late,
put on programs for learning and buy supplies for the kids out of their pockets. I just want to make sure they have sufficient funds for their families and livelihood and vacation like everybody else does,” she added.
Taylor said she wanted to ensure no student is left behind in, not just the classroom, but in any area of education, including sports and standardized testing, and to provide students with equal access to resources, such as free mentors and tutors.
“When I was in the school system you didn’t have to pay for sports, and a lot of kids who want to play can’t afford it,” said Taylor, a Queen Anne’s County High School alumna. “I kind of target things of that nature.”
Before running for school board, Taylor ran unsuccessfully for the county commission District 3 seat.
Though Taylor is single with no children, she served in the role of mother to many in the community. She was been an activist in the Grasonville area and the county at large for more than 20 years.
She worked for the county board of education for 16 years as an assistant at the alternative school and was
a full-time member of the clergy for the past 11 years.
She received a Governor’s Citation in 1991, for her noteworthy contributions in addressing substance abuse and prevention. She founded “Youth in Action” in 1990, and founded Chosen Generation Deliverance Ministries Inc. in Grasonville in 1996, where she was Bishop.
A Queen Anne’s County native, Taylor graduated from Queen Anne’s County High School in 1980, after which she attended the Computer Communications Institute in Wilmington, Del., and Chesapeake College.
A visitation is set for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville, where funeral services will follow at 11.
After the service, friends and family are invited to a repast at the Bay Country Moose Family Center in Queenstown.
On Dec. 22 Natalie Baynard, right, donated an abundance of toys to Chosen Generation Deliverance Ministries in Grasonville during the church’s Christmas party. The toys then were given to the church members’ children. Left is Chosen Generation Pastor Arlene Taylor.
Judy Center Partnership of Queen Anne’s County children enjoy a story read by Arlene Taylor of the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education at Sudlersville Elementary School. She was a guest during African American History Week. The children attend Judy Center-sponsored evening sessions at the school while their parents attend English classes conducted by Chesapeake College.