Throughout her career, inspired by her own inner-city childhood in Chicago, Robin Turner has focused on working with students in high-needs schools. In 2001, when Turner moved from her hometown to Austin, she looked for a school where she could make a difference — and she found it at Sims Elementary School, where nearly every student was disadvantaged.
At Sims Elementary, Turner nurtured 23 expert and prolific third-grade writers in her third-grade classroom, helping them write and produce plays about African-American history and encouraging them to use "sparkle words" in their writing to increase their vocabulary. Her students consistently scored at or above the state's recommended level on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), with half earning a Commended Performance designation. Turner then worked at Sims as a full-time faculty mentor, coaching 10 teachers and improving the educational experience of the school’s 300 students, and spent two years at T.A. Brown Elementary as a math and science coach.
Now, as assistant principal of Walnut Creek Elementary, Turner has the opportunity to impact 650 students and 75 teachers and staff. In addition to her administrative duties, she teaches math interventions at lunchtime. Turner’s National Board Certification extends through 2026.