Celebrating APIDA Month: Spotlight on Pegah Taylor, A Champion for Equity and Inclusion at KIPP Texas Public Schools

As we celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Month, we are honored to shine a spotlight on Pegah Taylor, the Managing Director of Talent Development at KIPP Texas Public Schools. Pegah’s journey with KIPP Texas is inspiring and deeply rooted in her identity, values, and commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowerment within the KIPP Texas community.

Pegah’s journey with KIPP Texas began in March 2008 when she started as a long-term substitute teacher at KIPP Academy Middle School. This initial step paved the way for a remarkable trajectory within KIPP Texas. She transitioned into a placement with Teach For America, where she continued to serve and lead at KIPP Academy for five years, taking on roles ranging from a grade-level chair to an instructional coach and later as an Assistant Principal.

During her time at KIPP Academy, Pegah was dedicated to academic excellence and deeply committed to her community. This commitment led her to found KIPP CONNECT Houston Middle School in the fall of 2014, where she served as the School Leader for five years. The school’s location in the Gulfton/Sharpstown community held profound significance for Pegah, as it is rooted in the neighborhood her parents first immigrated to in Houston. Her connection to the community fueled her passion for supporting underserved families, reflecting her experiences as a first-generation American learning English and navigating the education system.

In 2019, Pegah transitioned to the talent team at KIPP Texas, where she started as the Senior Director of Leadership Development and currently serves as the Managing Director of Talent Development. In this role, she leads a team dedicated to coaching and developing teachers and leaders across the state, through talent programs and state-wide professional learning, ensuring that KIPP Texas continues to uphold its values in excellence, equity, and persistence.

Pegah’s identity as an Iranian-American has deeply influenced her work and experiences within the KIPP Texas community. Her parents’ immigration story and their journey to create a life in Houston instilled in her a sense of family, community, and partnership, shaping her commitment to supporting newcomer families and fostering a sense of belonging for all.

Reflecting on her journey, Pegah shares, “My parents’ resilience and determination have always been my guiding lights. Their journey inspires me to create opportunities for others and build a community where everyone feels valued and supported.”

Looking ahead, Pegah envisions a future where representation and empowerment thrive within KIPP Texas Public Schools. She advocates for expanding affinity groups and celebrations that honor diverse identities, fostering connections and support networks for staff and students.

As we celebrate APIDA Month, let us honor leaders like Pegah Taylor, whose dedication to equity, inclusivity, and empowerment continues to enrich the KIPP Texas community.

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