"I am committed to academic success in the broadest sense of the word," says Billy Taylor, principal of Dyersburg High School in Dyersburg. Mr. Taylor has noted that whereas educational institutions may preach academic success, the truth is that they reward athletic and extra-curricular success in more dramatic and significant ways. By way of correcting what he sees in an unfortunate discrepancy between word and action, Mr. Taylor has initiated an "academic rewarding system that provides timely reinforcement and brings students the recognition they deserve." The celebration of academic distinction at Dyersburg High School has created a space and a role for the academic star. Institutions of learning, Mr. Taylor thinks, cannot be successful if they harbor and promote an anti-intellectual culture. Mr. Taylor adds that beyond their emphasis on academic excellence, schools must also strive to provide a maximum number of "educational opportunities to better enable students to deal with their changing society. Most importantly," he insists, "through all the students' frustrations and successes, school must be fun!"
1969 University of Tennessee - Martin, B.A.