SJND Mourns the Loss of Dedicated Science Teacher Kristina Taylor | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School

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SJND Mourns the Loss of Dedicated Science Teacher Kristina Taylor

Kristina Taylor

It is with much sadness we share that Kristina Taylor, beloved science teacher, colleague and friend to many in the SJND community, has passed away following a years-long battle with cancer.

Mrs. Kristina Taylor, formerly Ms. Stone, served the SJND community for nearly 20 years. Kristina joined SJND as a new teacher in 2002 with plans to teach for just one year before moving on to medical school. However, plans quickly changed.

“I fell in love with teaching… I specifically remember my first two weeks of teaching, in between the tears of ‘am I doing this right,’ was the realization that ‘wow, our students are amazing.’ I wanted to be a part of their lives and hopefully inspire them through my lessons,” Kristina shared in an interview for Update magazine in 2017.

Kristina would go on to inspire hundreds of students throughout her tenure at SJND. Over the years, she taught various science classes, including Biology, AP Biology, Honors Chemistry, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and AP Environmental Science, among other classes. Shortly after joining SJND, Kristina was named Science Department Chair, and later, STEM Chair. As Science Chair, she helped transform the SJND Science Department and served as a mentor to her fellow teachers. Kristina also spearheaded the annual Diocese of Oakland Science Fair, helping inspire a younger generation of scientists.

In 2012, Kristina helped launch SJND’s celebrated Biomedical Sciences program. She continued to play an integral role in the program over the last eight years, guiding students through the challenging curriculum and requirements. Many of Kristina’s students would go on to study health sciences at the university-level and pursue a career in the medical field. 

“Science, for me, is an amazing way to explain the world. Every night I still reflect on science and how it has affected our world and how I can present it to our students to help them form opinions of their own,” Kristina explained.

Kristina loved adventure. She led numerous Academic Immersion Trips, guiding SJND students through unforgettable experiences in Thailand, Peru and the Galapagos Islands, to name just a few destinations. If she was not teaching or traveling, Kristina could be found spending time with her dog, Anubis, or cooking a new, exciting recipe with her husband, Jay.

Kristina led several Academic Immersion Trips.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kristina's loving husband, Jay, her parents, Pat and Jodi, her sister and brother-in-law, Kara and Travis, and all of their family and friends. Kristina was a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and friend to many.

Kristina's family has established The Kristina Taylor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biomedical Science to honor her memory and to award students who excel in SJND's Biomedical Science program. The annual award will be given to an exceptional student in SJND's Biomedical Science program in the form of tuition remission. Contributions to the fund may be made to Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School with a memo, Kristina Taylor Fund (if donating online, please specify Kristina Taylor Fund under "Tribute Gift.")

We will miss Kristina’s strength, spirit and zest for life. Plans for an in-person service will be announced at a later date, in coordination with Kristina’s family.

We invite you to share special memories or stories of Kristina’s impact with the SJND community. Please send photos and messages, in written or video form, to Kiersten Olsen at kolsen@sjnd.org. We will compile and share your messages on SJND platforms.