Award Year: 2021

Taylorville Jr High School

120 East Bidwell Street
Taylorville, IL, 62568-1358

(217) 824-4924

Mrs. Jessica Lynn Miller, Principal at time of Nomination

Mr. Eric Bruder, Current Principal

Taylorville Community Unit School District 3

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TJHS will provide a safe learning environment and inspire our students to become career-ready independent thinkers and problem solvers utilizing community resources and technology.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 93%
  • Hispanic: 1%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Two or more races: 3%


Located in rural Central Illinois, Taylorville Junior High serves fifth through eighth grade students as a part of the Taylorville Community School District #3. Over the last three years, staff and students have been a part of a revitalization building-wide. The collaborative leadership approach employed by new administration created an atmosphere that encouraged teachers to broaden their use of technology, take advantage of flexible learning spaces, and employ innovative teaching methods. These strategies energized students across all economic and academic levels thus closing the achievement gap.

The success of this initiative was due to the junior high administration's multi-tiered approach to school improvement. First, the need for technology related professional development and integration support personnel was addressed. This support enabled teachers to individualize professional development in their own classrooms, as well as expand the use of previously remodeled learning spaces. The addition of these changes increased students' participation in the classroom. Coupled with incentives and building activities, the changes helped create a community of empowered learners.

Creating this community of learners also required addressing the emotional needs of our students. Staff members continued to make connecting with each student a priority to encourage that student's progress, both academically and emotionally. This was very evident when faced with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and remote learning. Both staff and students recognize that this solid foundation gave validity to our multi-tiered approach and gave students confidence in their ability to succeed as they continue their educational journey.