Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Community News

September 5, 2013

A heavy heart at 9-11

PV man remembers friend lost in attacks — One Pauls Valley man will be among the many with a heavy heart next week when he thinks about the close friend he lost during the horrific 9-11 attacks a dozen years ago.

Now retired, Steve Jarman is already thinking about Hilda Taylor, a fellow teacher he met in the remote Amazon jungles during a workshop many years ago.

The special gathering in the late 1990s was for the JASON Project, a distance learning program that Jarman and others helped bring to local students for a time.

There he met Taylor, who had fled from a bloody conflict in Africa to arrive in Washington, D.C., where she continued her work as a teacher.

It was also Taylor and one of her young students who were among the many victims of Sept. 11, 2001.

Both were passengers on the flight terrorists intentionally flew into the Pentagon building.

Jarman’s friendship with Hilda is definitely on his mind as another 9-11 anniversary rolls around next week.

“It hit close to home,” Jarman said about learning a couple of days after the 9-11 attacks that Taylor had died in one of the planes.

“It was like a family reunion when we would get together at JASON Project workshops,” he said.

“I had lost a true friend and colleague.”

To honor Taylor and her story the former Pauls Valley teacher has set up a special display in the lobby area of Pauls Valley’s public library. The display will be featured throughout September.

For Jarman the story began back in the summer of 1998 when he was chosen to participate in a teachers’ workshop for the JASON Project.

That was a big deal, but the site of the workshop was even bigger — the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research in Peru.

“It was in the heart of the largest rainforest in the world,” Jarman said.

In the neighborhood of 25 teachers and scientists attended the hands-on workshop to kick around any and all ideas on the best ways to conduct the actual project a few months later.

“There’s a risk to sending 20 or 25 students down the Amazon River,” he said, adding there was also some delicate equipment going on the trip as well.

“We were there so they could pick our brains and talk about what we needed for the trip.”

One of the teachers he met was Hilda Taylor, who grew up in the Republic of Sierra Leone in a western portion of Africa.

She and her family came to the U.S. to escape the country’s bloody civil war at that time.

Jarman learned that Taylor was a teacher in Washington, D.C.

It was Hilda the person that Jarman remembers most.

“She was a soft spoken, quiet-natured lady who just loved to laugh,” Jarman said with fond memories.

Then came 2001 when one of Taylor’s sixth grade students, Bernard Brown III, was among the three finalists in a national geography bee.

They were planning to fly to San Diego, Calif., to take part in the contest. That’s when the tragic 9-11 attacks happened claiming the lives of both.

The very next year a new award was established by the JASON Foundation. It was named after Taylor.

“It was the highest honor they ever bestowed on a teacher participating in the JASON Project,” Jarman said.

The first recipient of the award was teacher Susan Hurstcaldron, whose class was the first in D.C. to participate in the JASON Project.

Along with Jarman and Taylor, she was one of the teachers taking part in that ‘98 workshop in Peru.

During the workshop one of her legs was seriously injured. Instead of leaving she stayed and pressed on.

That led to Jarman nominating her and then presenting that first Hilda E. Taylor Award.

(Editor’s Note: More on the Steve Jarman and Hilda Taylor story will be featured in the weekend edition of the PV Democrat.)

Text Only
Community News
  • One more round of trouble for park

    For the public face of a Wynnewood area animal park a recent round of violations is just part of the ongoing attacks by a national group he says has put a bulls-eye on the facility.

    April 17, 2014

  • Prison shuffle to have a price

    One Garvin County official says there will be a price to pay with the recent transfer of Oklahoma Department of Corrections inmates being held in county jails like the one here.

    April 16, 2014

  • Political races set as filings end

    A series of political races at various levels, including some here in Garvin County, are now set as a three-day filing period ended Friday.

    April 14, 2014

  • Band punches ticket to big show

    Basketball’s big dance may be over but Pauls Valley High School’s band has punched its ticket to the big state contest for the fourth straight year.

    April 10, 2014

  • Deadly wreck still has questions

    Authorities are still not sure why the vehicle driven by a Pauls Valley man went across a roadway’s center line resulting in an accident and his death.

    April 8, 2014

  • Tragic loss spurs family event

    Two Wynnewood area widows who share a tragic bond have combined forces to organize an event meant to both honor their late husbands and help a worthy cause.

    April 7, 2014

  • United Fund plan moves to ballfield

    Part of a prayer opening a Pauls Valley United Fund meeting this week said it all as they gave thanks for being able to help others.

    April 3, 2014

  • Thumbs up for fire tax projects

    A couple of Garvin County area volunteer fire departments look to have gained the thumbs up on some possible projects in the works.

    April 1, 2014

  • A challenge with a special ride

    The challenge is on for a center in Pauls Valley hoping to meet a fundraising goal meant to help their special clients.

    March 31, 2014

  • A price to pay with WW school issue

    Despite some opposition Wynnewood’s top school administrator continues to stand by the belief a bond issue going before voters next week is a good plan.

    March 27, 2014

Business Marquee

  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.





    e-mail request to

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest