Jim Browfield Service Award Nomination: Mildred Turner
Mildred Turner's passion for empowering kids through education began in the late 1960s, when her sons, Kevin and Cameron, were students at Audubon Elementary School. Along with maintaining high academic expectations for their own children, Mildred and her husband, Ray, united with other parents to motivate and inspire all students. Mildred and Ray served as co-presidents of the Audubon PTA and, like many local parents of that era, campaigned vigorously for school integration through busing.
Mrs. Turner's dedication as a parent volunteer continued as her sons matriculated through Audubon, Edison, the Pasadena Alternative School, Eliot Junior High and of course, John Muir High School. It was, therefore, perfectly natural when she launched her career with the Pasadena Unified School District.
Cherished are Mildred's memories of her wonderful years at Don Benito and San Rafael elementary schools where she advocated for families as a community liaison specialist. Her natural warmth and belief that all students could achieve enabled Mrs. Turner to bond easily with parents and kids. In order to better serve the school communities, she took night classes to master Spanish and American Sign Language.
Ultimately, her special ability to connect with kids and parents led Mildred Turner to John Muir High School. At Muir, she expanded her parent advocacy and her unflagging faith in the potential of every student to achieve excellence.
As advisor to the Pride Task Force, Mrs. Turner helped Muir students boost Mustang pride by organizing activities including Homecoming events, Spirit Buttons, Friday Night Live, campus painting projects and the planting of the memorial tree in honor of three students who were murdered on Halloween 1993.
In 1988, under Mildred Turner's guidance, the Pride Task Force founded the John Muir Alumni Hall of Fame, which reflects the spirit of service that Mrs. Turner embodies.
Perhaps the greatest testament to Mildred Turner's service at Muir are the countless former students who affectionately call her "Mom" and who know that they can still turn to her for advice and comfort in times of challenge and for enthusiastic congratulations in times of triumph. Mildred Turner represents the very best qualities of Mustang Pride!
Please Note: Sadly, Mildred Turner passed away this month. She will be awarded posthumously. Her services were held Saturday, August 3, 2013. The Journal family sincerely extends heartfelt condolences to her husband, Raymond, her sons and her entire family.