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Tanika Turner Joins Santa Fe


Tanika Turner, or Mrs. T., has joined the Santa Fe roster this year as a biology co-teacher and a study skills teacher. In addition to this, she is also one of the two teacher sponsors for the Santa Fe Black Student Union.

“I came from a rough area,” said Turner. “There were so many kids that looked like me who didn’t have the opportunities.”

Turner grew up in rural Tulsa and went to high school in a “rough area.” She then earned her associate’s degree from Oklahoma State University before transferring to the University of Central Oklahoma to be closer to her home. After her time in college, she decided to teach at Santa Fe because of her relationship with Ms. Hanson, the Santa Fe High School Freshman Principal.

“I always wanted to be who Ms. Hanson was for us students,” said Turner.

Hanson described Turner as a “great” and “fiery” student, and said that she “definitely matched my personality.” Turner’s favorite thing about teaching is “connecting with kids,” like she did with Hanson.

Another major influence on her life is her five kids. She loves to spend time with them at their after-school activities. Being a mom has played a role in being a teacher as well, she says it’s given her a “heart for children”.

In her classroom, room F114, Turner places an emphasis on understanding her students.

“You gotta understand that kids have moments and they are not just being defiant,” said Turner. “My daughter was having some issues and I thought she was just being rebellious, but it took for me to actually go to counseling and figure things out about her.”

Turner loves to help her students.

“Somebody out there needs me,” she said.

However, she also discussed how teaching has allowed her to learn lessons as well.

“You think you can come into this and be able to save all the children, and it’s sad, but in reality, you can’t,” said Turner.

However, she still strives to help students on a daily basis, whenever she can.

“You can save somebody’s life just by speaking life into them,” said Turner.

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Val Gomez
Val Gomez, Howler Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Valentina Gomez, and this is my sophomore year at Santa Fe. I grew up in Colombia and hope to get into NYU because I think the atmosphere in New York is similar to Colombia. Some other things about New York I enjoy are the sense of freedom, the bookstores and the fashion. I love to read romance books and watch Rom Coms with the company of a good cold matcha or coffee! 

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