The San Diego Science Alliance is saddened to report the death of Honorary Board Member, past Executive Director, teacher and student advocate and supporter of all things STEM, Ms. Nancy Taylor. Nancy passed away peacefully Saturday, October 24th in her home. She was surrounded by her husband Warren, daughter Ashley and family and friends, and welcomed to the other world by her son Shane.
Ms. Taylor was a recognized California K-12 science education trailblazer. Her decades-long leadership in education includes classroom teaching in the San Diego and Ramona Unified School Districts, elementary school principal, Science Coordinator/ Curriculum Specialist at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), Executive Director of the San Diego Science Alliance, and STEM Task Force and Science Expert Panelist at the California Department of Education.
Always ready to take on any project that would enhance quality science teaching and learning, Nancy lead and collaborated on several grant initiatives in partnership with universities and research institutions. She served as Co-Principal Investigator for CyberTEAM, a CyberInfrastructure initiative focused on middle school science and the Partnerships Involving the Scientific Community in Elementary Schools (PISCES) project.
Through her roles at the SDCOE and SDSA, Ms. Taylor managed a dynamic network of community collaborators; K-12 schools, nonprofit organizations, and San Diego’s innovators in research, industry and higher education, all dedicated to providing STEM resources in class and out-of-school. Her innovations and program development gained recognition through the California School Boards Association for demonstrated gains in student achievement and STEM awareness, specifically for women in science with the SDSA – Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering (BE WiSE) program. Nancy also received an Athena Pinnacle Award and was honored as one of twelve California’s “Leading Women in STEM” for her achievements in advocating for stronger public-private partnerships and investment in STEM.
Ms. Taylor took great joy in witnessing the impact that her work had on the students, teachers and community stakeholders that it affected. Her enthusiasm and relentless energy permeated all those who dared to join her as she marched forward, advocating for science in all San Diego County’s 43 school districts for the benefit of the 500,000 K-12 students in our community.
Nancy’s most recent work was serving as Principal Investigator on the NSF-funded, Exploring STEM Careers Initiative in partnership with the San Diego State Research Foundation, the San Diego Science Alliance and 11 school districts county-wide.
Her passion and support for the San Diego STEM education community will be missed. The family is determining how they would like people to send donations. We will continue to keep you informed. In a word that Nancy frequently wrote…