Taylor McKinnie was recently knighted as a lady of the Golden Horseshoe for eighth grade students from each county who accomplish the top scores in knowledge of the state of West Virginia. Those receiving the honor from Randolph County were Miss McKinnie, Isabella Karlyn from Elkins Middle School and Natalie Teterfrom Harman School. Taylor is the daughter of Kevin and Shelly McKinnie of Elkins. She attended Elkins Middle School where she was in the Extended Studies Program as she was at Midland Elementary School and is a 4.0 student. She has been student of the month in both elementary and middle school and was selected by her social studies teacher to attend the Youth in Government Conference in Charleston as well as the West Virginia Ambassadors Camp this summer. She has been a West Virginia legislative page three years in a row for the state House of Representatives and has “shadowed” State Delegate Denise Campbell for a day at the Capitol during the Legislative session for three years.
Taylor has been a dancer with Center Stage Studio of Dance in Elkins since she was five years old and participates in the Center Stage Parade troupe. She is a blue belt in karate from Davis Karate Academy in Elkins. Taylor is a member of the Hi-Fi 4-H Club where at younger camp she was chosen to be the chief of the Delaware tribe and was awarded the Heart H at the closing council circle in 2011 and the spirit of camp award in 2014. In 2015, she was awarded the Peg/Polly Mams scholarship for Alpha II camp at Jackson’s Mill for the 2016 camp. She has been active for many years in the Randolph County Community Arts Council where she has been awarded three blue ribbons for her pastel and watercolor works during the Forest Festival exhibitions and she was a volunteer through EMS at the Humane Society Animal Shelter. She has also been a “camp” participant in the summers at the Old Brick Playhouse in Elkins where she just completed her second year with the apprenticeship program, and has attended basketball and tennis camps at Davis and Elkins College. She is currently taking private tennis lessons at D&E College including tennis clinics at the college.
Taylor was confirmed in her church, First United Methodist Church of Elkins in 2014. In 2013, she participated in forensic science classes at West Virginia University – a free experience for middle school and high school youth. She was on the Elkins Middle School yearbook staff, a teacher’s assistant, and was a member of the school student council.
Taylor loves to read and travel with a school trip planned in 2017 to Japan. She has two cats, Frinkles and Spencer, and a Yorkshire Terrier named Maddie.