Located in the West Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk, W.H. Taylor Elementary School has a long history of ensuring all students are able to participate in all activities, regardless of their ability to pay.
From school field trips and cultural arts programs to the annual Fall Carnival and Spring Fun Run, Taylor stresses inclusivity for all. With this in mind, the PTA often sponsors children in need for these events. Drawn from five neighborhoods in Norfolk – the Freemason District, Ghent, West Ghent, Lambert’s Point and parts of Park Place. – W.H. Taylor’s student body is the picture of diversity, both educationally and socio-economically. The unifying goal of the faculty, staff, and parents is that once a child is a Taylor student, they have the very best educational experience possible.
The teachers and staff have created a warm and caring environment where students are not only challenged educationally, but also supported emotionally.
“All Means All”
In the Spring of 2016, Taylor’s principal of 20 years, Mary Ann Bowen, retired. Ms. Bowen was passionate about her students and held to the belief that supporting a student’s educational needs was simply not enough. She came to the realization that academic success is nearly impossible when a student’s emotional and physical needs are not met. Her tenure as principal of W.H. Taylor embodied the “All Means All” attitude of the school.
As a tribute to her service, the Mary Ann Bowen Fund was created.
This fund’s primary purpose is to provide support for the most vulnerable students. Whether purchasing a new winter coat, providing funding for the school’s backpack program (in conjunction with the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia), scholarships for summer camps, or ensuring all students have access to field trips, this fund truly makes a positive impact in the lives of our youth now and in the future.
“Taste of Ghent”
W. H. Taylor parent and professional chef Mark Conway is putting together Taste of Ghent as a fundraiser for the Mary Ann Bowen Fund. According to the Taste of Ghent Facebook event page “This special annual event will bring the W. H. Taylor family and the community together, through the amazing culinary artistry of our local restaurants.”
And from what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to include some fantastic eats. As of now the Ghent restaurants serving up tasty samples of their cuisine include Alkaline, Andrea’s La Bella in Ghent, Bonbonnier, Hummingbird Macarons & Desserts, Jessy’s Taco Bistro, Pendulum Fine Meats, Supper Southern Morsels, Tessa’s Creatives, and The Public House. My mouth is already watering.
The highlight of the evening will be the chef cook-off where local culinary masters are are tasked with creating a masterpiece while pitted against a mystery basket of nutritional offerings from the school’s lunch program. Also included in the evening are both live and silent auctions where guests have the chance to take home all sorts of goodies donated by event sponsors and local businesses… but the real winners are going to be the school kids and the W.H. Taylor family.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here, and word on the street is they are going fast. Taste of Ghent takes place on March 25 from 7:00-10:00pm at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, which is located at 520 East Plume St. in Norfolk.