Delightful, sweet and kind were my first impressions of Mary Taylor. As principal of Suwanee Elementary School, Taylor is well-known in our community. Walking into the school’s hallways where both of my children attended grade school, I was filled with nostalgia imaging my kids being greeted each morning by this smiling, wonderful principal!
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
What inspired me is my love of students and wanting to make a difference. When I was in college, I was given an opportunity to tutor students at the local middle school. From that moment, I knew I wanted spend my life supporting children and families. They inspired me, and I wanted to do all I could to make a difference. Now that I have the honor of serving in the principal role, my heart continues to remain always in teaching. The core of who we are as principals is teaching and supporting learning.
What is your favorite restaurant in Suwanee and what do you love there?
Ippolito’s – I love Italian food. I love the family and the warm and inviting atmosphere. We hosted our teacher leadership team there and it was great. The rolls are amazing!
How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
This is my second year working in Suwanee.
What has kept you here?
I love Gwinnett County Public Schools and have served in this county my entire career. From being a teacher, assistant principal and now a principal, I feel blessed to have had so many people support and encourage me along the way. Our schools are filled with unsung heroes, and I have learned from their commitment to our students every day. Our district’s core values, clear vision, and a commitment to teaching and learning is what led me to Suwanee Elementary. I love the small feel of Suwanee and the community members who pour into our schools. I am a strong believer that our schools belong to our people, and the school should be the hub of the community. I want our halls filled with families and I want our families to always feel welcome at Suwanee Elementary.
How big is your family?
I have a daughter who is 13 years old and attends North Gwinnett Middle School and a wonderful husband of 15 years. I also like to say that I have 701 kids, counting all of the students enrolled here. [laughs]
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
I would have to say all of our amazing students at Suwanee Elementary. I am most inspired by their individuality and their stories. They bring me so much joy every day. Our motto here at Suwanee Elementary is “Create a School You Love!”
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would love to travel all around the United States. There are so many states I have not experienced and would love this opportunity one day.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
My class in school attended the premier of the first Land Before Time. I was in second or third grade.
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
In anything you do, do it with all of your heart. Anything that you choose, be all in.
What is something on your bucket list?
I have dreamed of writing an inspirational book.
What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see.
I love country music. I love that every song tells a story. I would like to see Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire.
What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Rita’s in Town Center Park. When I was first appointed as principal, I wanted to get out into the community quickly. We had sessions where families could come and meet their new principal, and I chose Rita’s. It was awesome because I could share a sweet treat with the kids and their families in the community. Going there again, I am reminded of the excitement meeting the kids and parents for the first time.
What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
The “all-in” attitude of the people in helping to make it a great community. Suwanee truly cares about the schools and businesses and wants our community to thrive.
Would you rather speak to a crowd of 500 or sing to a crowd of 50?
Definitely speak to 500!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Here at Suwanee Elementary! The families, teachers, staff, community, and our amazing students have done so much to support and welcome me. They have stolen my heart. Serving them is an enormous honor. So, I want to be here lovin’ our kiddos!
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I am one of nine children, and I loved it! My mother is a saint.