Colbert teacher celebrates 55th year on the job

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

COLBERT, Okla. -- Sending children off to school for the first time can be bittersweet for both kids and parents, but seeing a familiar face might make it easier. For parents of some Colbert students, that familiar face might just be one of your own teachers.

Lucille Turner has taught for more than five decades. So long, she says, that now she's teaching the third generations of some families.

"I’ve been teaching for 55 years!" Colbert teacher Lucille Turner says.

Turner says it's hard for her to believe, since she never had plans to teach. What she really wanted to do was join the army, but her mother persuaded her to become a teacher, and it's a decision she says has made her very happy.

"If you don't enjoy it, you don't need to be there," Lucille says.

Over the past half-century, Mrs. Turner says she's seen a lot of students come through her classroom doors, teaching thousands of children everything from science to English.

She says the faces certainly aren't the only things that have changed over the years.

"Changes go on all the time. If it's the same old thing all the time, lots of people say it's dull, but it's not because changes are going on in your culture and your classroom, and you really enjoy working with the students," Turner says.

Turner says technology has been the biggest change, and it's really made her job a lot easier. Westward principal Gerald Thompson says all those changes have made Mrs. Turner ready to handle whatever comes her way.

"She’s not going to see many things that surprise her, and so we really think a lot of Mrs. Turner. We think she's a very unique teacher, and we're real proud to have her at our school," Principal Gerald Thompson says.

Turner says it's been her pleasure to be able to touch the lives of so many children. Mrs. Turner says she hopes her students will look back at her as a strict teacher who they learned something from.

Mrs. Turner also says she doesn't have any plans to retire and will keep going as long as her health lets her.


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  • by Sebrina Location: Sherman on Feb 19, 2008 at 11:59 AM
    I'm proud to say that I'm a former student as well as the niece of Mrs. Turner. I am an elementary teacher in Sherman. I have been teaching for 23 years. I'm inspired by her dedication to our profession and the students whose lives she has touched for so many years. I'm sure I will never teach as many years as my aunt, but I strive to have as positive an impact on the lives of my students. Congratulations, Aunt Lucille for being the kind of teacher that truly makes a difference in the lives of children. Strict? Yes! Appreciated? More than you could ever imagine!
  • by Retired Teacher Location: Oklahoma on Feb 19, 2008 at 07:37 AM
    It was my honor and privilege to teach with Mrs. Turner for 30 years. Not only does she serve as an example of what an outstanding teacher should be, she is a wonderful mentor and encourager to those with whom she works. Mrs. Turner is a credit to her family, her community, and her school. I sincerely congratulate her on a most remarkable 55-year career in education. She is most deserving of this recognition for her dedication to teaching. What an amazing person!! Any school system would be blessed indeed to have a teacher like Lucille Turner.
  • by Linda Location: Sherman on Feb 19, 2008 at 07:19 AM
    I am also a former student of Mrs. Turner. I am 48 yrs old now, but Mrs. Turner stands out in my memory as one of my all time favorite teachers. She is an exceptionally gifted educator and her students are lucky to have her. Congratulations to Mrs. Turner from one of those "Teeples" kids.
  • by Colbert Graduate Location: Texas on Feb 19, 2008 at 06:09 AM
    I am proud to say I am a former student of Mrs. Turner. She was my fifth grade science teacher. She was very strict and expected a lot, and for that I thank her. She was a wonderful teacher and I learned so much from her. I just hope that my daughter has the privilege of having teachers like Mrs. Turner when she starts school. Congratulations, Mrs. Turner!
  • by Tonie Location: Sherman on Feb 18, 2008 at 08:31 PM
    We need more teachers like Mrs Turner. She portrays a teacher who is really dedicated not only to her work but to the students as well. Congratulations
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