Thu, 2 December, 2010

The Orchard Foundation welcomes Marjorie Taylor

The Orchard Foundation has hired longtime educator and administrator Marjorie Taylor, Ed.D., to the position of executive director. Taylor previously served as dean of the Learning Center for Rapides Parish. Her new position becomes effective Jan. 1.

Taylor’s appointment followed a national search that yielded more than 80 applicants. The Rapides Foundation’s education adviser, Wilma Hamilton Delp, assisted The Orchard Foundation board of trustees with the screening and interview process. After interviewing the finalists, trustees unanimously recommended Taylor for the job.

Dr. Taylor has been dean of the Learning Center since March 1, 2003. During her tenure, the Learning Center’s enrollment has more than doubled from 744 to over 1,500.

To ensure the important work of LCRP continues during this time of transition, the Board of Regents has named Heather Poole, Assistant Commissioner for Assessment and Economic Development at the Board of Regents, to serve as Interim Dean of the Learning Center until a permanent replacement is appointed. Larry Tremblay, Associate Commissioner for Planning and Research at Regents, will also provide administrative support to the LCRP. 

Dr. Taylor has more than 20 years of experience in adult and continuing education. She previously served as the Director of the Greenville Higher Education Center in Greenville, Miss., and Director of Continuing Education at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. Taylor’s degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, a Master of Education in Mathematics, and a Doctorate in Professional Studies in Adult Education, all from Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.

She is a member of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, Central Louisiana Society for Human Resource Management, Board of Directors for Louisiana’s Comprehensive Public Training Program, and a graduate of Leadership Central Louisiana.  She is married to Robert Taylor Jr. and they are the parents of two 12-year old children, Lauren and Spencer.  Taylor and her family attend Calvary Baptist Church.

The Orchard Foundation is a nonprofit local education fund that works with school districts, businesses, and communities to improve educational opportunities in a nine-parish service area: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn. Throughout the year, Orchard provides opportunities to develop leaders in education which enhance the education efforts in Central Louisiana.

As its executive director, Taylor will be responsible for driving Orchard’s mission of improving academic achievement for Central Louisiana students by promoting best practices; recruiting, retaining, and rewarding excellent and innovative teachers; building school leadership; and strengthening school and community relationships.The Orchard Foundation is a subsidiary of The Rapides Foundation. It was established after the Foundation assembled Central Louisiana leaders to study the need for a local education fund and to determine the possible role it could play to improve educational opportunities for educators. As a result, The Rapides Foundation committed $600,000 over a three-year period to establish Orchard.

Local business and community leaders, local foundations and agencies in the service area are supporting this fund in multiple ways. The Orchard Foundation has positioned itself to acquire funding from other sources as its goals meet the focus of education grant programs on the state and federal government levels, and the philanthropic goals of other foundations focused on education. Print

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