Joan Turek can be called many things: Teacher. Learner. Volunteer. Dedicated. Even “Saint Joan.”
Turek is the Gifted and Talented Coordinator for Bossier Schools and both the district and state’s driving force behind Destination Imagination, a program that fosters students’ critical thinking skills. Her love for creative problem solving began more than 25 years ago, first as a parent volunteer.
That evolved to team manager, appraiser, trainer, school coordinator and currently, Regional Director of Louisiana Destination Imagination, a volunteer position Turek has held for several years now.
“I was hooked and I’ve volunteered ever since,” Turek said.
“It’s something I just do for fun,” Turek said. “I’ve learned a lot and really enjoy it.”
That is aside from her day job at Bossier Schools, where Turek works with the district’s 45 Gifted and Talented teachers and oversees a program that has grown to more than 1,500 students that exhibit exceptionalities in art, music and theater.
“Not many can say they monitor 1,500 students quite the way she does and she makes sure their teachers are serving them exceptionally well,” commented Debbie Gegg, Supervisor of Accountability and Assessment. “Not a single IEP is late due to Joan’s diligence with the paperwork.”
Gifted and Talented teachers sing Turek’s praises as well.
Jamie Kiihnl said, “Joan is the most dedicated, fair and loyal employee. Her patience and attention to detail are unmatched. She never complains and is always there to help with any challenge.” Kiihnl added, ”She puts her own needs at work last so that she is available to help us. As a result, her van is parked at the BESC until well after everyone has left. I have driven by at 7 o’clock and seen her car there. I adore her and feel very blessed to have her as my leader.”