Danville alumni stories: Taylor Walker-Smith

Published 6:16 pm Saturday, July 2, 2022

Taylor Walker-Smith is a 2014 Danville Independent Schools graduate who just graduated from University of Louisville School of Dentistry in May with her DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry). Prior to that, she attended Centre College for her bachelor’s degree, where she graduated in 2018. Now, she’s about to start her job as a general dentist in Knoxville.

When Walker-Smith graduated from Danville High School in 2014, she was No. 4 in her class and she attended Centre as a New Horizon’s Scholar that fall.

She shared a bit about herself and her Danville Schools journey.

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Q: Tell us about your Danville Schools journey. What school(s) did you attend, and what’s a highlight that stands out to you?

A: I started my journey in Danville Schools in kindergarten at Jennie Rogers Elementary. Then I moved on to Bate Middle, and eventually to Danville High. I was a Danville Schools kid from start to end! One of my favorite memories was my one and only year on the DHS Girls Basketball team. We had a record of 25-8. We won District and Region. We were runner up in the All A State tournament and made it to the Elite 8 in the KHSAA State tournament! Fun Fact: I can still name all my teachers K-12!

Q: What aspects of your Danville Schools education helped mold you into the person you are today?

A: Definitely the constant compassion from my teachers. At the time, I didn’t recognize or appreciate how much time and effort my teachers put into teaching me math, science, social studies, etc, but also respect, understanding, empathy, determination. I still remember coming in every day for maybe a week or two, trying to complete my physics project with Mr. Danny Goodwin. I had never been more frustrated or felt more defeated by an assignment in my entire academic career. He stayed with me for hours explaining, working with me to rebuild that car, taking the time to ensure I understood all the moving parts. I didn’t come out with an advanced knowledge of physics, but that experience instilled perseverance. Looking back, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the teaching staff at Danville Schools.

Q: When you think back on your Danville Schools experience, are there specific instances or relationships that stand out to you as having had a significant impact on your success since graduating?

A: My freshman year I had tested into Calculus II, but I was having trouble keeping up. The transition into college classes isn’t easy. I ended up dropping back and retaking Calculus I, even though I passed the AP test. I always loved math, but I was never great with the “optimization” portion of Calc. I struggled with that chapter back at DHS and was struggling again at Centre. So, I went back to visit one of my favorite teachers: Mr. Rob Kremer! He took time out of his afternoon to meet with me after school and go over optimization. He’s the reason I ended Calc I with an A by the end of the semester!

Q: As a product of Danville Schools, what advice would you give to a parent who was choosing an education path for their child?

A: As a parent, if you’re looking for a place where your child will have the opportunity to excel academically, be encouraged to explore their creativity, and grow in a diverse environment surrounded by some of the best educators providing tools/skills for inside and outside the classroom, set sail with Danville Schools!