is honored with a Brick from Jana Hendrix-Epperly, Dana Kline, Virginia Simmons, and Linda Zogleman.
A Kansas native, Judy (Cluff) Turner and her two younger brothers, Jerry and Mike, grew up in Wichita as a close-knit family. Her father, Dr. James Cluff, was an elementary school principal and her mother, Leila, was a school nurse in Wichita. Judy married her husband, Larry, in 1963. Together, while completing college and pursuing their educational careers, they raised two daughters, Kerri and Mendy. Kerri became a school nurse. Mendy became an elementary teacher. During her early years, Judy's foundation of lasting commitment to family, work, and service was established. It is this commitment and the belief that we "all have an obligation to give something of ourselves to our community," that helped shape her role as a loving wife, mother, and a master teacher of children.
During her teaching career, she has served hundreds of elementary children with a caring, dedicated approach that has become her trademark. In 1966 she began her career as a teacher at Bryant Elementary school. From 1970 through 1982, she taught at Chisholm, Michner, and McCollom Elementary schools. In 1984 she returned to Bryant Elementary where she taught until her retirement in 1998.
Judy graduated from Wichita High School East in 1959. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Wichita State University in 1966. She received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Friends University in 1994. She also studied at the College of Emporia and The University of Arizona. In addition to the assignments mentioned above, Judy was a pioneer in the Follow-through Program in the late 70s. As partial fulfillment of her masters degree, she conducted action research to determine the effect of audience on elementary writers. She subsequently applied that research in her classroom.
Throughout her teaching career, she served on a variety of committees, including school improvement committees, child study teams, and substance abuse prevention teams. She was often called upon to mediate parent and school concerns. She was always willing to assist with special projects to improve educational opportunities for children. She mentored a number of university students during the student teaching phase of their training. Many went on to become effective teachers.
Judy's hard work and dedication has touched the lives of her family and the children she taught. Her instincts for being able to reach and teach the most reluctant learners became one of her strongest attributes. Her energy and enthusiasm for teaching children was so overpowering that it was enjoyable just being around her. Upper grade teachers often commented that they could identify those students who came through Judy Turner. Her ability to organize student learning for effective outcomes also made her a popular teacher with parents.
Heroines are women who are admired and emulated for their achievements and qualities. Judy is a women who fits this description. It has been said that the greatest compliment of all is to be recognized by your peers. Judy's colleagues and closest friends have determined that she is worthy to be honored publicly and recognized as a true heroine.
September 5, 1998