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Katy Independent School District

James E. Taylor High School

​History​​​​​ of James E. Taylor High School

Ground Breaking
June 12, 1978

Phase I Occupancy
November 26, 1979

Phase II Occupancy
April 1980

9th Grade Center and Performing Arts Center
2000 - 2002

Renovations
2012 - 2013







​Who was James E. Taylor?

James E. TaylorJames 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 spent several years in the U.S. Navy, served for four years during World War II, and retired with a rank of Lieutenant from the U.S. Coast Guard retired.

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.

Upon his retirement from Katy ISD in 1978, the school district honored him by naming the second high school in his honor. Mr. Taylor was a frequent visitor to the school and could be seen at many special events. The students knew who he was, and it was so special to have him with us for so long. Part of THS' pride and spirit came from the school's namesake.

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."

Colonel

In October 1980, the Athletic Booster Club presented THS with a mascot, a white mustang named "Colonel". It originally was located in the main entrance lobby. Currently this mascot is located in the Performing Arts Center lobby.

Retirement of Last Original Staff Member - December 2016

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