John Taylor, a 1998 graduate of Kent-Meridian High School, has been named the 2016 New Jersey Charter Schools Association Teacher of the Year.
Taylor has worked as a health and physical education teacher at Beloved Community Charter School in Jersey City, N.J., since the school opened in 2012.
There are 87 charter schools in New Jersey, employing more than 5,000 teachers and serving more than 35,000 students.
Taylor will be honored at the eighth annual NJCSA Conference on May 26 in Atlantic City.
When Beloved opened, Taylor had a $700 budget to purchase equipment for the school. He has raised $83,000 in grants to purchase equipment and develop sports programs for the school.
He facilitates the Reebok BOKS Kids morning activity program and Girls on the Run, as well as intramural sports leagues at the school.
Before teaching at Beloved, Taylor was on the reality television series, “Too Fat for 15,” for two seasons, and was named America’s Most Knowledgeable Fitness Personality by E! News.
He played football at Kent-Meridian and was an 1997 honorable mention All-American.
Taylor has a bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College, a master’s degree from High Point University, a post-bachelors teaching certificate from Western Carolina University, a doctorate from North Central University and is pursing his principal certificate from Caldwell University.