New to the Williston community, Psychology teacher Tyla Taylor hopes to make her mark on campus by establishing long-lasting connections with students.
Taylor went to Wesleyan University, where she majored in Psychology, Education Studies, and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. She graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors, Psi Chi psychology honors, and was awarded Wesleyan’s Butterfield Prize for outstanding character and academic excellence. Taylor is new to boarding school life and is adjusting to life as a dorm parent, advisor, and volleyball coach.
Taylor was born and raised in New England, growing up in Connecticut on the border of New York with her single mother and older sister.
“I always joked I would leave Connecticut at some point but ended up going to college there. Now, I’m finally out … and a whole two hours away in Massachusetts!” she said.
Despite wanting to explore other parts of the world, she says receiving a scholarship to attend Wesleyan “completely changed my life.”
“They pushed me in so many ways,” Taylor said. “I made connections with teachers and other staff members that will last a lifetime.”
As a high schooler, Taylor knew she wanted to be a teacher.
“Even now, if I have a question or need advice, I’ll reach out to my high school teachers,” she said. “When I reflected on how much they meant to me, it made me realize I wanted to be that for someone else.”
Soaryn Rutherford, a senior boarder from Nantucket, Mass., loves Taylor’s AP Psychology class.
“I think what she teaches is very interesting,” Soaryn said. “But the best part about AP Psych is Ms. Taylor herself; she is an excellent teacher who incorporates activities to help students retain the information learned.”
What initially brought Taylor to Williston was an educational consulting site, but it was Williston’s outlook that sold her.
“Immediately I was impressed with Williston’s mission of purpose, passion, and integrity,” she said. “It was the integrity piece that really stood out to me and aligned with my values.”
Though the boarding school world was new, Taylor said she felt at home at Williston from the get go.
“Every day I get to wake up and do what I love; teach psychology, coach volleyball, and spend time with really fascinating people (students and teachers alike),” she said. “It’s busier than I expected, but I feel very embraced by the community, which I am grateful for.”
Taylor hopes she can have as much of an impact on Williston as it has had on her, so she encourages students to “create those relationships with teachers.”
“We care about you and would love to hear how you’re doing 5, 10, 15+ years after you graduate,” she said.