Nancy Taylor: A Remembrance

Generations will be touched by your passion, path, and purpose

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The League of Extraordinary Scientists & Engineers (LXS) is saddened by the loss of a leading voice for STEM education. Nancy Taylor was quite literally one of the most inspirational people I have had the honor to call my friend and mentor. She was the beacon who shone a path inviting us ALL to teach our passion, and the path she laid for us to follow is the embodiment of a “do’er” extraordinaire.

Nancy Taylor’s achievements are heroic to put it mildly. A classroom teacher, an elementary school principal, a strong voice for science curriculum at the San Diego County Office of Education, the Executive Director at the San Diego Science Alliance, a leader for the Better Education for Women in Science & Engineering (BE WISE) program and much more. After establishing several in-roads to stronger STEM education, Nancy “retired” to spend time with her family. However, as suspected by all of those who knew her, our amazing Nancy continued to build the San Diego science community. Through collaborations with several other STEM education outreach programs, Nancy kept her finger on the pulse of science education. The League of Extraordinary Scientists & Engineers was honored to be one of several groups she continued to guide. As an elementary school “science-ing” program, bringing local scientists and engineers right to the front of the classrooms at no cost to schools, LXS brought Nancy full circle, back to her days as a 2nd grade classroom teacher.

On May 29th, 2015, just hours after undergoing a cyst removal surgery, Nancy, accompanied by her husband Warren, was the keynote speaker at the LXS “Beers & Brains” event at the San Diego Downtown Library.  I told her she didn’t have to speak, to which she replied, “Hell yes I need to!” After seeing that LXS has more than 25,000 K-5 grade student contacts and we are in 1,272 classrooms teaching our passion during this last school year, Nancy walked up to the stage in an unforgettable style that earned a standing ovation before she even spoke a word. Her support for improving children’s lives by putting science into young scientists’ hands has inspired so many.

At the helm until her last breath, her story is NOT even close to being complete. Nancy’s life has made an impact far beyond her impressive life achievements. Nancy nurtured and grew many things in her time. Her children, husband, animals, friends and garden will be nourished from the deep roots Nancy established.

This past June, Nancy brought LXS a giant sunflower for kids to dissect. We harvested the seeds and planted them in several schools and K-5 classrooms around San Diego. The seeds are a perfect metaphor for how Nancy Taylor’s legacy will be carried on through the work of LXS.

When asked “How can we keep this going?” Nancy simply replied, “Don’t Stop.” 

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Nancy Taylor — For every life you have touched with your passion, path and purpose, we will continue to plant the seeds, teach, reap knowledge and plant again. Your story is far from over.

The League of Extraordinary Scientists & Engineers.

Written By Jeane Wong

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