James Taylor | Melvin Cerny | Jim Mavity
James E. Taylor
James Edgar Taylor (1912-1997) was born on October 25, 1912 in North Zulch, Texas. He attended Madisonville High School and received his master's degree in education from Texas A&M University. Serving his country, he was a Lieutenant for four years during World War II.
Starting off his career, he taught school in North Zulch and was a high school principal in Junction. He then moved to Katy, as superintendent, and remained so for 31 years. In the time frame which he was in charge, Katy ISD grew from a tiny Class A district to one which opened its second Class 5A high school in 1979. That second high school was named James E. Taylor High School. After retirement, he became a member of Katy First United Methodist Church for 40 years. He served as Chairman of the Official Board for two terms. Also, Taylor served 10 years on the Harris County Board of Education.
Mr. Wallace Hall, chief engineer for Spaw-Glass spent two nights with a laser/transit locating True North and marking the Commons slab. Mr. Armando Ramon, master tile setter laid out the work, mixed the colors and installed each color in the circle. White Portland cement, fine "French" sand, chemicals, and coloring agents combined to form the matrix to which was added marble and onyx chips from quarries in Georgia, Tennessee, Mexico and Italy.
Mr. Harry Blethroad, consulting architect with Cavitt-McKnight-Weymouth designed the Compass Rose, noting that James E. Taylor spent several years in the US Navy and symbolizing the guiding function of a school. He writes to us:
"In the days of the sailing ships cartographers used to place directional arrows on their maps embellished with various nautical themes, both practical and decorative. The compass rose served as a point of reference offering orientation and direction to the sailors. It did not actually get them anywhere, this they had to do by their own efforts. Your compass rose still symbolizes Direction to a goal, any sort of goal you wish...but you must get there under your own power, by your own efforts."
A long-time employee of Katy ISD, Melvin Cerny has figured immeasurably into the lives of many student athletes that have gone through Taylor High School. Coach Cerny served as the Head Baseball Coach at Taylor High School for 28 years. In that time, he sent numerous players off to college, which was evident when many players returned to honor Coach on his long career at the school. Coach Cerny has players that went on to not only collegiate but professional levels.
Coach Cerny won 343 games over his career along with three district championships and two district co-championships. The Taylor Mustang baseball team made the state baseball playoffs 15 times and he was selected several times as the District Coach of the Year.
Coach Cerny was one of the original organizers of the baseball tournaments that continue to play to this day.
Jim Mavity was an outstanding high school football lineman in Tennessee before entering Baylor University on a football scholarship in the mid-1950s. However, when the Baylor football letterman suffered a knee injury his freshman year, that limited his service as a player for the Bears, so instead, he assisted in coaching freshman while he was attending graduate school. After graduating from Baylor, Mavity continued coaching in the Dallas area for 11 years. He coached first at Irving High and was then hired as an assistant coach at MacArthur High School in Irving. In 1969, Mavity became the Head Football Coach at MacArthur. Coaching beside him was one of his assistants and future Katy Taylor High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Bubba Fife.
Mavity remained as head coach until 1971 when he decided to leave teaching and join Perry Homes, Inc. in Houston. When Mavity gave up coaching in the early 1970s to become a Houston homebuilder, little did he suspect that he would return to his older profession 16 years later to become one of the state's most successful coaches in tennis.
In 1987, Mavity decided to leave his position as Senior Vice President of Perry Homes Inc. of Houston and return to teaching. The new Athletic Coordinator/Head Football Coach at Taylor, Maurice "Bubba" Fife got a call from his former teaching colleague. Mavity told him of his interest in getting back in to teaching and that he had also been involved in competitive tennis for several years. So, he was interested in coaching tennis as well as teaching. Thus, he became Taylor High Schools tennis coach and in 1997 was named Class 5A Tennis Coach of the Year. Mavity constructed a phenomenal 323-51 team tennis record. The Mustangs sent 22 doubles teams an seven singles players to the spring state meet, and three of those doubles' teams - including one in 1992 featuring his daughter - won state titles. Taylor High School captured three Class 5A tennis championships, having won in 1997, 1998, and 2002.
He was named Texas High School Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High School Associations in 2003, the Texas High School Tennis Coaches Association in 1997, and the USPTA Texas Divisions in 2002 and 2005.
After 20 years of coaching the Taylor Mustang Tennis Team, Mavity decided to retire in 2007. The tennis complex at Taylor High School was named, "The Jim Mavity Tennis Complex" in 2011.