The Norman Transcript

Education

May 5, 2013

Jefferson Elementary principal Kathy Taber leaving in June

NORMAN — As part of a group essay assignment, a fourth-grade class at Norman’s Jefferson Elementary described their principal, Dr. Kathy Taber.

“Mrs. Taber is tall, skinny and sophisticated with blonde hair like sunlight on sand,” the essay reads. “Sophisticated means dressing fancy and acting mature ... she is strict like a police officer and very smart.”

Hand-written on a large poster, the essay hangs in Taber’s soon-to-be vacated office, framed by pencil-smudged sheets of notebook paper containing the individual essays that each student submitted.

“One phrase that really gets me is ‘she makes me feel safe, she keeps my sister safe,’” Taber said, surveying the fourth graders’ masterpiece.

Taber’s 35-year career as an educator in the Norman Public School district has been almost exclusively devoted to serving the students and teachers of Jefferson. Now in her 23rd year as Jefferson’s principal, Taber will be the longest-serving principal in the district’s history upon her retirement in June.

“I feel very fortunate, there have been many people at crucial points in my life that had a very positive effect on me, namely my family and my husband,” Taber said.

A third-generation educator, Taber describes the influence of her parents, particularly her father’s constant reading, as instrumental in inspiring her career choice.

“A good teacher is always learning. There’s a certain excitement that comes with a group of people learning — be it children or adults — and I love being a part of that,” Taber said. “Over the years, I’ve considered different positions as they’ve become available and whether I’d enjoy a different opportunity, but I always come back to this. I love this school and I love how the staff truly care about children.”

Taber was initially reluctant to take on the position that ultimately defined her career, saying she didn’t want to leave classroom teaching at the time.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Education
  • honor_roll.jpg Local students make the grade

    Norman Public Schools has released the most recent honor rolls. Click a school to see if you know a student who made the grade.

    View honor rolls for Norman High School | Norman North High School
    Alcott Middle School | Irving Middle School | Longfellow Middle School | Whittier Middle School

    June 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014

  • More than 700 to receive clothing, school supplies

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Citizens Caring for Children will host a two-day Back-to-School shopping event for school-aged children in foster care living in Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan and Pottawatomie counties....

    July 24, 2014

  • Program to fund classroom projects

    U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects across the nation, including Oklahoma, through its “Calling All Teachers” program. Last year, the company contributed $500,000 toward educational materials for ...

    July 23, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Noble teacher is state finalist

    Local teacher Roger Clement has been named one of 12 finalists for the 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year award by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Clement teaches physical science, biology, chemistry and chemistry II at Noble ...

    July 17, 2014

  • MNTC board to consider purchases

    The Moore Norman Technology Center Board of Education will conduct a regular board meeting at 5:30 p.m. today on the Norman campus, 4701 12th Ave. NW, conference room A-200....

    July 17, 2014

  • Principals named for Norman North, Madison Elementary

    The Norman Board of Education announced tonight that it is hiring Dr. Peter Liesenfeld as principal of Norman North High School and Annette Williams as principal of Madison Elementary....

    July 16, 2014

  • Three more local students named National Merit Scholarship winners

    On Monday, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 1,600 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. Three area students were named National Merit Scholarship ...

    July 15, 2014