By Jasmine Hsu
For the past 16 years, Peggy Taylor has been the first face Carmel High School freshmen have seen when they enter school for the day.
“When kids come to the freshmen center, I’m a grandma, so all those kids are my grandchildren,” said Taylor, an administrative assistant at the freshman center. “I want them to know that they’re safe, and if they have any questions, any problems, that we’re always there to help them.”
Taylor’s devotion to care for every student led to her being selected as the Carmel Clay Schools Support Staff Member of the year.
“To show a testament of who Peggy is, when we had our Random Act of Kindness, it was the seniors who chose Peggy to congratulate and the person they wanted to say, “We love you, thank you for what you do,” CHS Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton said.
At the June 22 Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees meeting, Assistant Supt. of Staff and Student Services Thomas Oestreich introduced the award by reading a submitted online comment explaining why Taylor was deserving as this year’s winner.
“Peggy is an incredible asset to our school. She is kind, patient and very compassionate with the students,” Oestreich read. “She always has a smile on her face and always greets staff, students, and parents in a welcoming way.”
To notify Taylor of the good news, Supt. Michael Beresford, along with several others from the community gathered on her front lawn to surprise her. Beresford described the experience as the best thing that had happened since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“She may be the sweetest lady on the planet,” Beresford said. “It’s always nice to see someone who really goes the extra miles for the teachers and the students and to make the environment really special.”