30 years strong: Steve Taylor’s career as a teacher, coach, friend

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Brian Harward staff writer

Steve Taylor, one of the most recognizable figures on campus during his career of 30 years, has announced this year will be his last.

Although he has filled many roles including teacher, coach, administrator and substitute, one thing has remained constant: making memories with generations of students.

“There’s no one moment in the span of 30 years; there are really so many memorable moments. Mainly, it’s been about the kids,” Taylor said. “The main thing I’ve taken away from Beverly Hills is that from 1988 until 2018, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what year it is. If you still want to learn and have fun doing it, you can learn or teach anything.”

In his role as a teacher, Taylor taught history, a discipline he thinks can be applied to anyone’s life.

“Our history book is full of mistakes we haven’t learned from and it was always my hope that as a teacher and student in my class we could learn from those mistakes and apply them and make your life better,” Taylor said.

Fellow history teacher and longtime friend Peter Van Rossum, who worked with Taylor as a chaperone for the annual spring break trip to Europe, described Taylor as a great person to be around.

“Steve is one of the funniest people I know; he’s one of the most heartfelt people I know and he’s a great friend. So, I think Steve is one of those people who makes your life better if you know him, and we had a similar sense of humor and attitude about a lot of things and he was a guy that I could relate to,” Van Rossum said.

Taylor is also a staple in the culture of Beverly Hills sports, coaching football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse, and running Beverly Hills Sports Camp (BHSC), a summer camp for boys and girls aged five to 13. It is in the latter exploit that Taylor met senior Finn Sklarew, a former camper and current counselor at BHSC.

“Taylor has always been a very open person. I feel like I am not able to talk to many teachers, but Taylor was different. I was able to form a true connection with Taylor, both by working for him and jabbing him as a substitute teacher,” Sklarew said. “Being my first boss, he taught me many things I will be able to use throughout my life.”

Taylor’s retirement is not the result of a burnout or desire to get away from teaching. Instead, he sees it as an opportunity to explore other interests.

“I will miss the constant interactions and fun that we had in being able to have fun and learn and continue to grow, and know that I did it over 30 years where there wasn’t ever a time that I felt burnt out over it,” Taylor said. “I could still continue to teach and I would love to do it, but I think it would be important for me to challenge myself in a new way. I’ll miss the students.”

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