Introduce yourself and tell us a little about your role at Kingsbury.
Hey! My name is Taylor Cao and I am a ninth grade science teacher at Kingsbury High School. I am also the Head Coach of the men’s soccer team and the Assistant Coach of the wrestling team.
What makes Kingsbury unique?
Man, I love Kingsbury. It is such a unique school in terms of its student body. The fact that I can walk down the hallway and hear multiple different languages spoken every day is truly an amazing thing. This past year we had an international program where students from different nations got on stage to represent their culture in song and dance. It was one of the highlights of my year.
Describe the Agape North donation event you able were able to be the recipients of.
The North team reached out to me back at the beginning of the spring semester and said that Germantown Legends, a local Memphis competitive soccer club, wanted to donate shirts to each student-athlete at Kingsbury. A few weeks later, Ted Bartels, the Director of Coaching at Germantown Legends came over to do a training session with my soccer team. They didn't just want to drop the shirts off, they wanted to make a connection and have us partner together a little in something we both do, soccer. It was such a great experience for my players. However, I think it was a bigger help to me because, being a first year head coach, I need all of the advice and strategies I can take in.
What were the benefits of this unique donation event and skills training?
Connecting with an organization like Germantown Legends opens up new opportunities for my soccer players. Many of them have never played club soccer before due to a variety of reasons. Now they have a connection to a strong club in Memphis if they make the choice to play heat around.
The free shirt also means a great deal to the student body at Kingsbury. It gives them an increased sense of pride for both their school and the community they reside in. They can proudly wear it and know that they represent the Kingsbury community on and off the field.
What are your goals for the soccer and wrestling teams over the next 3-5 years?
I have pretty lofty goals for both of our teams. In the next 3-5 years, I expect state championship banners to be hung in the gym. I want trophies of all of their accolades to fill the shelves in my classroom. I predict that several of my athletes will continue both their academic and athletic careers in college.
Some may say that my goals are too high for these kids, but I think that is foolish. I strive for excellence every day and I want my athletes to do the same. If the adults and influences around my students do not push them, then they will certainly have a more difficult time reaching their potential.
What will it take for you all to reach those goals together? What can the Memphis community do to be a part?
Consistency and patience is what it will take to reach these goals. I need investment from the school, the families, the community, and the city as a whole. That investment can range anywhere from time to money from all parties who desire to be involved. Together we can do great things for the Kingsbury community.