Elinor Zimmerman Taylor

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Elinor Zimmerman Taylor
Official • West Chester

Elinor Zimmerman Taylor was a 1939 graduate of West Chester High School. In 1943 she graduated from West Chester State College and in 1958 she earned a Master's Degree in Education form Temple University. She started her career as an educator in the Ridley Park, Delaware County school system. In 1946 she received a teaching position at West Chester Senior High School as a coach and physical education teacher. In 1955 Elinor started teaching health classes at West Chester State College and soon became an associate professor in the Health and Physical Education Department. She became well known in field hockey circles and was name National Honorary Hockey Official. In 1968, Elinor became the Assistant Dean of Women in 1968, the acting Dean of Student Affairs in 1969, and from 1970-1975 she was the Dean of Admissions. She helped found the American Association of University Women at West Chester State. The Honorable Elinor Z. Taylor started her political career by running for West Chester Borough Council person and was the first women to serve on the Council. She was first elected to represent the 156th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1976. She then served on the subcommittee for higher education. She was elected chairperson of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in 1995. In 2003, PHEAA passed a resolution naming the largest PHEAA building the Elinor Z. Taylor Headquarters Building. Elinor was elected majority caucus secretary in 1995 and Republican Caucus Chairwoman in 2003. Mrs. Taylor served a total of 30 years in the House of Representatives becoming the longest serving woman in its history. She was nationally known in her early days for her support of women's athletics demanding that the women's teams be taken as seriously as the men's teams, a radical idea in the 1960s and early 1970s prior to the implementation of Title IX. She was a great and powerful voice for that and one of the staunchest supporters of the programs. She was partially responsible for the growth that took place there in the 1980s and 1990s. Mrs. Taylor passed away on July 27, 2010 in Stuart, Florida.
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