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Kathryn Turner


Ronald E. McNair Middle School • College Park, Georgia

Although her exposure to education started early by growing up in a family of educators and politicians, Kathryn Turner didn’t decide to become a teacher until the age of 23. 

“[They] taught me at an early age to educate was a form of fighting for what is right,” Turner said of her family. Turner currently receives inspiration from her daughter and nephew, who unfortunately passed away at the age of 10. 

“I want a better world for my daughter and my nephew was one of my best friends due to his high intellect and his thirst for social studies and social justice,” Turner said. “He died of cancer . . . and I feel that if he was so vibrant and brave in the fight for social justice at such a young age, I should fight harder to be a light for both of us.” 

Turner teaches social studies at Ronald E. McNair Middle School in College Park, Ga., and frequently uses the Bill of Rights Institute’s resources related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in her teachings – specifically “Declaration” and “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.” 

When asked about her favorite historical figure, Turner chose Audre Lorde, another civil rights activist. 

“She is a hero of mine,” Turner said of Lorde. “She was an unapologetic feminist who fought for the rights of women, black people, and the LGBTQI community in a time when all those things could have been dangerous to do. She was a pioneer for so many different marginalized people.”