Jarred Turner--100 Alumni You Should Know

Jarred Turner--100 Alumni You Should Know


By Tailor Finney

“At USAO you have this opportunity for a fantastic education while being encouraged to be unique.”

A 2005 graduate from Rush Springs, OK, Jarred Turner has already laid the foundation in building an impressive legacy. While at USAO Turner majored in Communications and minored in Liberal Arts. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and in 2009, Turner received a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Since then, he has achieved numerous accomplishments that have led up to his placement at Roosevelt Middle School.

Sparked by a few IDS courses at USAO with Professor Dr. John Miller, Turner developed a strong passion for history that is still flourishing as he has taught U.S History since 2014.

“Professor Miller always had fascinating stories that you wouldn’t find in a textbook which made me never want to miss his class,” said Turner. “The history courses at USAO were like watching your favorite TV series that you couldn’t miss.” During his first year of teaching, Turner pondered unique ways to get his students involved in government. He started a writing campaign with his class that would result in sending letters to every U.S Governor.

“The students were surprised when we received responses from 40 of the governors within a short period of time,” said Turner.

The writing campaign continues to grow and Turner’s class has since received responses from former Presidents and numerous other current office holders across the country. It has even progressed from pen and paper to face-to-face. Turner’s class has hosted three current members of the U.S. House of Representatives, State Superintendent, the current and previous Attorney General, and has scheduled a visit from the Governor for the near future.

“This is how I am changing the way Social Studies is taught, because I am willing to try something completely different,” said Turner. “Obviously we have a budget problem… I may not be able to take my students to the capitol to talk to policy-makers, but I can bring those people to my class.” As a middle school teacher, Turner has an even deeper understanding of the importance of class sizes and classroom friendships.

“Do you want to be a name or a number?” If you go to USAO you will be known by your name and not by a student identification number,” said Turner. “If you like a small class environment when you are learning from someone experienced in their field then USAO is the place for you.”

Among his vast accomplishments, Turner reminisces about Governor Frank Keating coming to his class as one of his greatest professional accomplishment. Turner’s admiration for Governor Keating stemmed from the way he handled the Oklahoma City Bombing. After reaching out to Keating in April of 2017, they arranged for him to visit with Turner’s class.

“I remember Governor Keating being the face and voice for our state during that time,” said Turner. “For him to come to my middle school, be gracious with his time, and speak at no charge was amazing for me.”

Though Turner has found his niche, it did not come over night.

While he faced setbacks in pursuing a teaching career, he did not let that slow him down. He also encourages anyone that may face the same circumstances to continue pursuing their passion.

“Always be true to who you are and do not give up on your goals,” urged Turner. “What I have discovered is sometimes there is something bigger happening around us and we can’t see the bigger picture yet.”