It All Adds Up for Janet Taylor!
by Nancy Kroonenberg & George Coombs III
High School Math teacher Mrs. Janet Taylor leaves HKIS after joining in August 1983! In that time, she has seen HKIS change as a school, and taught students who subsequently sent their children to HKIS, who Mrs. Taylor taught….and who sent THEIR children to HKIS, who Mrs. Taylor also taught. Throughout that time, Mrs. Taylor’s dry humor and keen mind have blessed HKIS, and the impact on literally generations of students has been profound. Here, two of her former and closest colleagues share kind words and fun memories. Ms. Taylor in 1987.We all know what it’s like to have an HKIS classmate who becomes a friend or a colleague who turns into a life-long friend. That’s who Janet Taylor is for me. We have known each other for four decades, and I still remember the day her husband Bruce called me to say one of their sons had been born. While we never traded fashion tips, if Janet was about to get a haircut, I knew I needed one too and vice versa.

While Janet and I were in different departments, collaboration was part of who we were. In Tai Tam, I can remember Janet Taylor, colleague Sarah Todd and I co-chairing a Professional Development Committee. We drove others crazy as the three of us talked so fast and finished each other’s sentences–and colleagues let us know how annoying that was. But we were having professional fun.

You would think that the decades and 9,000+ kms. (5,500+ miles) between us would diminish the friendship and the collegiality. Not at all. Janet is the same vivacious, enthusiastic professional. We will WhatsApp each other just to talk and more recently to compare notes as we were both preparing to chair virtual WASC accreditation teams. Janet makes you feel like you are still colleagues, actively trading thoughts in the same room.

As I have read about Janet over the years, she has remained so active with the Student Council and with alumni. She has not changed or aged over the years–the same bubbly, professional immersed in the life of HKIS, her colleagues, her students, the alumni, her friends and her family. Her departure from HKIS will leave a huge gap in the life of the school.
- Nancy Kroonenberg
Former Middle/High School School French Teacher & High School Assistant Principal, 1977-1996
Top: Meeting the Dalai Lama. Middle: Playing in the "snow" with Mr. Coombs and Ms. Fine. Bottom: Ready for a hug!Janet Taylor’s 39 years of service to HKIS and to the Hong Kong community are remarkable. Janet taught mathematics, supervised Student Government, led Interims to far-flung places such as New Zealand and Mongolia, provided love and attention to the babies of Mother’s Choice, participated and led WASC accreditation visits, sang in the choir of St. John’s Cathedral, served on the HKIS alumni board for many years and found time to take up the piano after her sons graduated from High School. What is really amazing is how organized and resourceful she is. You could depend on Janet to get the job done. That is the kind of person she is. This was most helpful when you needed to know the history of an event or practice in the school. Her institutional memory will be greatly missed.
Ms. Taylor, Mr. Hardman, Ms. Hardman, and Doc O, 1999.
While she can be quite determined in her opinions, she displays a heart that is both gentle and caring. Her encouraging spirit, her dedication to service and her desire to serve the greater good of the school are integral to who she is. Her solid commitment to the welfare of our students was evident in all that she has done. Her openness and heartfelt spirit graced the school for more than a generation.

Her two boys graduated from HKIS. Arthur is teaching in Alaska and Curtis is studying library science in Ohio. What is interesting is that they are both fiction writers and have published their works. You should not be surprised that a “math mom” has two sons who enjoy writing. Janet graciously combines reason with a genuine love of the arts. You could always count on her attendance at performing arts events. Janet personifies our school’s spirit. She devoted her life and work to articulating and living our school’s values: and for that, we are grateful.

- George Coombs III
Former High School Humanities Teacher, 1989-2021
During HKIS’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, Junto, the High School newspaper, interviewed Ms. Taylor about the changes she’s seen over the years. Click here to read!
Stay in touch with Ms. Taylor as she returns to Ohio to be with her family!