Thousands of Ashford University online graduates and guests from across the country will be at the commencement ceremony on Oct. 13 when Ahwatukee resident Jennifer Taylor sings the national anthem. Taylor, earning a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, is the winner of a nationwide Ashford University competition to open the graduation ceremony with her rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Taylor, 47, grew up in a musical household. As a youth, she sang in children’s groups and choirs, and performed in musical theater. In addition to singing and pursuing her higher education, Taylor is a teacher at Awakening Seed School, an internationally recognized educational environment for children ages 12 months through 10 years.

Taylor, an online student who has never been to the Ashford University brick-and-mortar campus, will be traveling to the rolling hills of Clinton, Iowa, with her family. Her husband, Don, two sons, and her daughter, who range in age from 10-19, will be in attendance for her performance and to celebrate when she receives her diploma.

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