John Turner '64, MA '72
John Turner '64 used his experience as a high school teacher to volunteer at local reading groups and schools.
In 2004, after 35 years of teaching high school English in East San Jose, John Turner '64 retired. Turner, however, has been anything but inactive. Immediately after leaving the high school teaching ranks, Turner began searching for volunteer opportunities in the area. Soon he was tutoring middle school students in Math and English as well as acting as the coordinator for his neighborhood Beautification Committee, which cares for local parking lot greenery.
"I feel fortunate that I have been able to match up with so many meaningful volunteer opportunities. I am able to continue to feel good about working with people to make a difference," says Turner.
He has been participating in these activities for over five years.
Turner has also reached out further to the community by reading to young children at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library and participating in Meals on Wheels - a volunteer lunch delivery service. Through all of his experiences, John says, "The volunteer work which I found to be the most worthwhile and to which I am most committed, however, is the work I do for Reading Partners at their site at Horace Mann Elementary School in downtown San Jose." Each Tuesday and Thursday morning Turner meets one-on-one with 4th grade students teaching fundamental reading skills. For Turner, this job is the most satisfying because the student's progress is monitored and recorded regularly which gives the students confidence as they move forward. With the help of volunteers like Turner and his wife, Judy, the San Jose area is becoming a better place to live.