Taylor will be missed more than she can ever know

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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To the Editor,

Susan Taylor's death will ripple through the community for years upon years to come. Whenever great teachers retire or pass away, you always hear people talk about how many lives they touched and the everlasting impression they made on their students. Not only is Susan Taylor no different in that regard, she deserves extraordinary recognition.
The arts are not something that are thriving in today's school programs, but Taylor believed in the arts with everything she had. To make kids today embrace something like music, especially in the school band setting, is no easy task. But year after year, Taylor had the biggest and best band, full of kids that would do anything and everything they could to put a smile on her face and gold medals around their necks at competitions.
Once, when I was a much younger boy, a group of us, including Sue, took a trip to New York to take in a number of Broadway shows. I have many memories of Sue but that trip in particular sticks out in my mind. She was like a cherry bomb, more energy than you have ever seen, because it was an entire week dedicated to nothing but soaking in some of the best theatre on the planet.
I remember her leaning into my ear as we walked into one of the venues and saying "Soak it up, kiddo, it doesn't get much bigger than this!". I would often find myself missing some of the action on stage because I would be peering down to watch the pit band instead. Embarrassed, I would sit back only to catch Sue doing the exact same thing.
The funny thing is, I had so much love and admiration for Sue, and I wasn't even a member of her amazing band. I left the band program in the ninth grade after one semester because of my hard headedness and desire to play Metallica covers as opposed to Concertos .
But in my remaining years at ARHS, Sue would let me in her band room whenever I stopped by and let me play her instruments to my hearts content. It's because of Sue that I got my hands on certain instruments for the first time that I now can handle on my own. Even though I wasn't a member of her band, the sheer fact that I was a music lover was enough to grant me a VIP pass into her classroom. I have been playing music and acting professionally for almost seven years now, and I owe her a great deal for that.
When I heard the news of Sue's passing I realized that it was not just a sad day for those that knew her, but a sad and dark day for any arts lover in the community. It is obvious that no teacher could ever replace her, but we can only hope that someone honours her wishes and keeps that program alive and keeps the love of music churning through the hearts of young students to come.
Sue, you will be missed more than you could ever know. The world is now less because you're no longer a part of it.
Josh Kogon, ARHS Class of 2003
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  • Good Person
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    Well said, Josh Kogon.
    It is heartening to see the tributes pouring in for an individual who made such an important lasting impression on children and adults, touched many lives through her work, and made a real difference in her community. Some of the people being paid tribute to in this letters section for their self-serving egos deserve no such recognition and should be embarrassed by the day/night difference between what Susan accomplished in her too short life and what they are muddling around doing for, basically, the better of no one but themselves.

    As sad as the ultimate outcome was in Ms. Taylor's case, at least her life's contribution was for the betterment of others, and something that everyone agrees was so worthy and unselfish.
    She was a true community leader, and I daresay I don't recall her seeking out the spotlight for her accomplishments, unlike others in the Amherst area regularly do.

  • Former Student
    January 18, 2010 - 10:47

    It would be wonderful to see many former and current students at the high school on Wednesday to celebrate and honour Ms.Taylor. She will be greatly missed and always remembered.