About the John H. Taylor Education leadership Award
Throughout his professional career, Mr. Taylor was an educator. He began his career as a teacher, then served as the assistant to the superintendent of the Wilmington Public Schools. Taylor’s education background, coupled with his ability to share information and make connections served him well as he rose to become editorial page editor for The News Journal before becoming president of the Delaware Public Policy Institute in 2005. As founding member of the Vision Coalition, Taylor’s leadership and directness were instrumental in building an impactful public-private partnership to advocate for improved education in Delaware. Taylor’s leadership style was always straightforward, clear-headed and often unwavering. At the same time, he was a humorous and truly humble man.
2019 Winner: Bebe Coker
“From her civil rights activism to her leadership in education, Bebe is a true champion of excellence and equity. Like John Taylor, she is someone I rely on to tell me the way it is, the unvarnished truth. As an advocate, she led the Committee to Improve Education during Delaware’s deseregation era in the 70s, and as president of the New Castle County Vo-Tech school board and a charter school board, she helped open doors to children all across the county. She has led efforts to support literacy in everyone from our babies to our men returning from prison. To this day, she is working with educators and policymakers to elevate the teaching profession. She’s an educator, a playwright, a mother, and a mentor to countless young people. In every role, she brings a fierce commitment to speaking the truth and building our community.”