Passing of Almond Turner

NCSS Regrets to Announce the Death of School Board Representative Almond Turner
Posted on 11/24/2019
Almond Turner official portraitWith deep sadness, the Newton County School System regrets to announce the death of school board member, Mr. Almond Turner. A beloved member of the Newton County Board of Education, Mr. Turner served the residents of Newton County’s fourth district. Mr. Turner had a servant’s heart, which led him to a 45-year-career in law enforcement; he retired as assistant chief of police with the Covington Police Department in December 2016.

Mr. Turner was a 1968 graduate of the historic R. L. Cousins High School and attended Fort Valley State College where he majored in music. He also attended DeKalb Community College where he earned an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. He furthered his education at Troy University, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. He was a 1982 graduate of the FBI National Academy (Quantico, Va.), as well as a 2002 graduate of Columbus State University's Command College.

A proud graduate of the Newton County School System, Mr. Turner was first elected to serve on the Board of Education in 1996. He was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. During his tenure as a board member, he employed his law enforcement and security experience to improve safety measures throughout the school system, which included the installation of cameras in all school buses and all classrooms. He also fought for changes in school policies to make sure that any policies implemented would be fair and equitable to students, teachers, and administrators. Mr. Turner was committed to supporting teachers and ensuring they had the necessary tools needed to provide children a quality education.

Mr. Turner had a passion for music and was well-known for his support of and performances in the Newton County Community Band. He was also a beloved member of the Springfield Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and oversaw the Ministry Protection Team.

Born in Covington, Mr. Turner was the son of the late Lavancy Maxey Turner and Almond Turner. Mr. Turner leaves behind his wife, the former Anita Franklin, three children—Dwahn, Shaye, and Shundra—and several grandchildren.

“We are stunned, devastated, and heartbroken,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of the Newton County School System. “Mr. Turner was a life-long supporter of our community and its school system. He always wanted and fought for what was best for our students and employees and we looked forward to him continuing to serve on our school board into the foreseeable future. But more importantly, on a personal note, Mr. Turner was my friend and mentor—someone who helped guide me as I began the journey as superintendent of this school system. I will never forget his advice, his kind words of encouragement, and most of all his friendship. There will never be another Almond Turner. He was truly one of a kind.”

Newton County Board of Education chair, Shakila Henderson-Baker said, “Mr. Turner was a leader in our community and our school system. This is hard. Almond was and is a man who spent his life serving and protecting others, whether it was serving on the police force or serving the community as an advocate for public education. I am shocked to hear of this tragedy. He will absolutely be missed.”

Mrs. Henderson-Baker added, “Almond is a hero to all of us. He was the backbone of our school board. He encouraged us. He fought for the best interest of our children. And he was our friend. I am absolutely devastated at this loss. I grew up seven doors down from Almond Turner. He watched me grow up from a little girl. My dad died two days before my first election but Almond came to me and said, ‘I got you.’ And now my ‘I got you’ is gone. I am devastated. We all are.”