Sophie Taylor (2014-2015)
Siblings: A brother (deceased)
Spouse: Nate Cooper (divorced)
Occupation: School principal/art teacher
The new school principal hired to replace Bianca, Sophie’s first stop was at Northern Districts Hospital to see Nate, where she was revealed to be his wife. This came as a shock to everyone in Summer Bay, who had been unaware Nate was married. Nate explained they had been separated for two years: They had met when he treated her after a car accident but Sophie had become addicted to painkillers and tried to get Nate to supply her with them. Sophie was hoping to give the marriage another go.
Sophie began to fit in at school, meeting fellow staffmembers Leah and Zac and her art class which included Josh and Evelyn. While she was working late one night, Nate turned up and they had sex in her office but Nate remained confused about what he wanted. Sophie offered Sasha the vacant post of female school captain, which she ultimately accepted. When male captain Matt joked about how Sasha would do all the work, Sophie made it clear she needed him to knuckle down and told him to switch from his old Mangrove River uniform to the Summer Bay High one. She also tried to help Oscar fit back in at school after his hit and run conviction.
Sophie had dinner with Nate who admitted he had feelings for her and said he wanted to give their marriage another go. They spent the night together, which Matt brought up at school when she tried to discipline him over an argument with Sasha and Spencer. Sophie and Nate both made it clear to Matt that their home life was to be kept separate from school. She told Heath about Darcy being gifted and was unsympathetic when Maddy messed up an exam by not reading the paper properly, trying to get her to repeat Year 11 which led to her quitting school.
Nate and Sophie went to the Diner when he was on call but were interrupted by Alf and Hannah and ended up fighting over his phone. They went to her motel room but Nate failed to respond to an emergency call when Roo was rushed in with an infection and accused Sophie of deliberately turning his phone to silent. Sophie went to see him at the hospital but he insisted on having her escorted out, leading her to realise that he didn’t trust her not to steal drugs. Nate told her he couldn’t just flick a switch and trust her but wanted to try.
Leah convinced her not to call the police when Heath took Darcy from school while suspected of abuse, mainly because Sophie was feeling unwell. She wondered if she was pregnant but when Nate found her collapsed, it turned out she had a ruptured appendix. She was rushed into surgery but refused painkillers when she came round. Leah suggested Sophie move in with her and Nate while she recovered.
Leah came to regret it when she felt Sophie was leaning too heavily on Nate, including claiming to be ill when he was about to leave for work. Sophie and Leah fell out but made up over a drinking session at Angelo’s. Sophie then set about matchmaking between Leah and Zac, assigning them to work on school records together and volunteering them to chaperone the school formal.
Matt tried to convince her to let him and Sasha have time off school to do school captain work but she arranged for them to come in early to do it instead. She arranged for a poem Sasha had supposedly written to be printed in a school journal, only learning later that it was actually Matt who’d written it. She also judged a business ideas competition to which Matt submitted an idea for delivering pizzas on roller skates and Spencer submitted a bridal boot camp idea.
Sophie and Nate moved into a rental together but Nate quickly began to distance himself from her, claiming he had to go to work and, when she tried to organise a romantic dinner, inviting Leah, Zac and Ricky along. She and Ricky tried to arrange a double date with Nate and Brax. When Brax refused to attend, the others went to Angelo’s and tried to include him but things got tense when it turned out Ricky had been discussing their plans to have a baby with Nate.
When Nate began spending most of his time talking to Hannah about Oscar’s eating disorder, Sophie began to feel he always put her second best. She saw Nate giving Hannah a ride on his bike and told Hannah to stay away from him. She told Leah that things began to go wrong between her and Nate before when he cheated on her. She saw him comforting Ricky, only later learning Casey had been killed. Nate told her he hadn’t said anything because he was worried it would bring back memories of her brother dying in a car accident, which she later shared with Denny.
With Nate distancing himself from her again, Sophie waited for him on the shore when he went kayaking. She saw a message from Hannah on his phone and took some pills from his bag. When she brought Nate food at hospital, he suspected her of taking some sleeping pills that had been left by Denny’s bedside. Sophie saw Oscar looking drowsy at school and realised he had taken them, taking him to Nate and Hannah at the hospital. She told Nate about taking the bottle of pills but told him she hadn’t taken any. Nate admitted he was attracted to Hannah but said he was committed to Sophie.
Sophie suggested she and Nate buy the house they had been renting. Nate agreed and she ignored seeing him hugging Hannah. She arranged a barbecue to celebrate their offer being accepted and insisted Hannah come along to prove nothing was going on. However, when she saw Nate and Hannah talking, she burned her arm on a kettle, probably deliberately.
Sophie accompanied Nate to the city when he was injured while searching for VJ. When he was transferred back to Northern Districts, Sophie was unhappy that Hannah was looking after him, using a visit from Brax and Ricky as an excuse to keep her away. While she and Hannah were arguing, Nate collapsed from a liver bleed and had to be rushed to theatre. When Nate came round, he told her their marriage was over.
Sophie saw Nate and Hannah kissing at the hospital and helped herself to a bottle of pills, taking some of them. Nate confessed to her about the kiss but she refused to let him move out, and fell out with Leah who Nate had spoken to first. Nate found her collapsed at home and she admitted she’d overestimated the number of pills she could take after being off them so long. Nate moved out and, although Ricky tried to look after her, Sophie insisted it wasn’t over. Nate told her they weren’t getting back together even if she got well.
An increasingly intense Sophie booked herself into the caravan park on learning Nate was staying there. She then deliberately started a fire in her caravan so Nate would have to rescue her. Nate arranged a psych evaluation and Doctor Evans suggested she be sent to a psychiatric hospital. However, Sophie disappeared from the hospital during the night, leaving an unconscious Hannah in her bed.
Two weeks later, Sophie called Nate saying she wanted him to take her to hospital, but when he turned up at her motel room, she had prepared a romantic dinner for them. When Nate refused to go along with it, Sophie knocked him out, tied him up and doused the room in petrol. Nate stopped her setting it alight by announcing he loved her. He wasn’t able to keep up the act when she tried to seduce him but said he wanted to help her.
Sophie assumed they were going away together and was furious when she realised Nate was driving her back to Summer Bay. She grabbed the wheel, causing a bus carrying several Summer Bay residents to swerve and crash, and them to crash into the car containing Brax and Josh. Those in the cars only had minor injuries but the bus driver was dead and several passengers had serious injuries, notably Leah, Hannah and Kyle. Sophie was lost track of in the aftermath, having stood around in a daze during rescue efforts, but told Brax and Ricky the crash was her fault. She called Nate to meet her on the beach and told him she knew things were over between them. She had already called the police, who soon arrived to take her away. She later sent Nate divorce papers.