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State Superintendent of Education

Dr. Robert P. Taylor

Dr. Robert P. Taylor
State Superintendent of Education

Full biography

Dr. Robert P. Taylor began serving as the State Superintendent of Education for Mississippi in January 2023. A native of Laurel, Mississippi, he is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a B.S. degree in History and Political Science. He earned a Master’s of School Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fayetteville State University.

Dr. Taylor most recently served as a Deputy State Superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, overseeing Federal Programs, NC Virtual Public School, School Nutrition, Planning and Operations, the Center for Safer Schools, District and Regional Support, and Regional Directors. He began his career in education as a teacher’s assistant in Mississippi and served North Carolina public schools for nearly 30 years. His school-level experience includes serving as a middle and high school teacher and an assistant principal and principal. At the district level, Dr. Taylor served as a Director and then Assistant Superintendent in Clinton City Schools, N.C., supervising numerous areas including Human Resources, Federal Programs, Exceptional Children, and Student Services. Dr. Taylor served as the Superintendent of Bladen County Schools, N.C., from 2011 to 2021, providing innovative leadership in digital teaching and learning, district turnaround, and student support for a rural school district. 

Along with his experience as a district and state administrator, Dr. Taylor has served on the Dean's Advisory Council for the schools of education at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Fayetteville State University and as the governor’s appointee on North Carolina’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching. During the 2014-15 school year, the North Carolina State Board of Education appointed Dr. Taylor to the North Carolina Assessment Task Force, where he was one of two district superintendents in the state tasked with drafting new legislation for student assessment in public schools. 

During his tenure as a district superintendent, Dr. Taylor was selected for various state roles including the State Board of Education Whole Community, School, Child Advisory Council, chair of the North Carolina Virtual Public School Advisory Council, the Western Governors University of North Carolina Advisory Board, and the North Carolina Governor’s Superintendent Advisory Council. Dr. Taylor also served on the North Carolina Superintendents Association Executive Board and as president of the Sandhills Regional Education Service Agency (RESA), which is the regional association of school superintendents in the Sandhills Region of North Carolina. Dr. Taylor has also worked with various state and national organizations as a keynote speaker and lecturer on a range of topics including rural and digital education, STEM education, school nutrition, and school consolidation.

Dr. Taylor’s honors and awards include the 2017 Sandhills RESA Superintendent of the Year, the 2018 NCAAHPERD Superintendent of the Year for his work in school nutrition, health, and physical education, and the prestigious Friday Medal for Educational Innovation from North Carolina State University’s Friday Institute. He delivered the graduate commencement speech for Fayetteville State University in May 2018 and received the Friends of Nutrition Award from the North Carolina Child Nutrition Association in 2018, making him the first superintendent to receive the association's highest award. 

Dr. Taylor is one of five co-authors of the article, College Social Experiences between First-Generation Students and Other Students Enrolled in a STEM Discipline at a Historically Black College and University, published in the Spring 2013 volume of The Journal of College Orientation and Transition. 

He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. 

Dr. Taylor is married to Col. Vivian L. Taylor, Ret., and they have three children; Jayln, a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate, U.S. Army soldier and Hampton, Virginia law enforcement officer; Mia, a senior at Western Carolina University; and Miles, a sophomore at Fayetteville State University.