Who was James E. Taylor?
James Edgar Taylor (1912-1997) was born on October 25, 1912 in North Zulch, Texas. He attended Madisonville High School and received his Master's degree in education from Texas A&M University. Serving his country, he was a Lieutenant for four years during World War II.
Starting off his career, he taught school in North Zulch and was a high school principal in Junction. He then moved to Katy, as superintendent, and remained so for 31 years. In the time frame which he was in charge, Katy ISD grew from a tiny Class A district to one which opened its second Class 5A high school in 1979. That second high school was named James E. Taylor High School. After retirement, he became a member of Katy First United Methodist Church for 40 years. He served as Chairman of the Official Board for two terms. Also, Taylor served 10 years on the Harris County Board of Education.
Main Commons Compass Rose
Mr. Wallace Hall, chief engineer for Spaw-Glass spent two nights with a laser/transit locating True North and marking the Commons slab. Mr. Armando Ramon, master tile setter laid out the work, mixed the colors and installed each color in the circle. White Portland cement, fine "French" sand, chemicals and coloring agents combined to form the matrix to which was added marble and onyx chips from quarries in Georgia, Tennessee, Mexico and Italy.
Mr. Harry Blethroad, consulting architect with Cavitt-McKnight-Weymouth designed the Compass Rose, noting that James E. Taylor spent several years in the US Navy and symbolizing the guiding function of a school. He writes to us:
"In the days of the sailing ships cartographers used to place directional arrows on their maps embellished with various nautical themes, both practical and decorative. The compass rose served as a point of reference offering orientation and direction to the sailors. It did not actually get them anywhere, this they had to do by their own efforts. Your compass rose still symbolizes Direction to a goal, any sort of goal you wish... but you must get there under your own power, by your own efforts."
Taylor High School - Through the Years