Hall of Fame



Dr. Anna Turner Jolivet, Class of 1946

Educator, Assistant Superintendent TUSD
Dr. Anna Turner Jolivet is an amazing accomplisher of civic and volunteer work as well as of many professional achievements—doing all this while being a homemaker and mother of two. The four children of Sadie Osborne and Joe Turner have all accomplished a lot in their lives. Anna’s father, a strong person, supported his family until his death in a car accident when Anna was just five. The youngest child was born three months after his death. Her mother then went to work, supporting and rearing her children alone, determined that her four children would complete high school and college. They all graduated from Tucson High, and all save one graduated from the University of Arizona, and all achieved advanced degrees. Mrs. Turner was in high school when her family moved to Tucson, but was not allowed to attend Tucson High (then in the Roskruge building) during regular hours. She quit because she found she know more than her teachers did.
Anna was the second born, Elmo, the oldest, though working from age 14, was active in THS football and track, class of ’43. After his military service, the G.I. bill helped him complete his education at a private college, Rockford, in Kansas with a degree in business and an advanced degree as well. He died in 1989. Joel, the third child, THS ’49, was a chemistry major and in ROTC. He served in Korea and considered a military career in chemical warfare, but chose dental school instead, entering Meharry, in Tennessee. Dr. Turner came home to Tucson to practice, serving as head of dental services at Kino and retiring there two years age. Joel has served as President of the national Dental Association, which was formed when the American Dental Association would not allow African Americans to enter. He continues his private practice. Sadie Pitts, the youngest, has degrees from California, retiring five years ago. She often created her own stories to emphasize points in her lessons. She has written and published two children’s books used for educational purposes. Among awards for her writing is one named for the author of the play Raisin in the Sun – the Lorraine Hansberry Award.
The biggest influence in Anna’s life was her mother. Anna was born in a house on the 600 block of North Tenth Avenue, She attended a private kindergarten taught by Mrs. Hudson, wife of a teacher at Dunbar Junior High. Anna entered first grade at Dunbar and graduated from the Junior High in May ’43. Entering Tucson Senior High that fall she graduated in May ’46. Her four college degrees were awarded by the University of Arizona—BA in 1950 and Master’s in 1965 in Elementary Education; and Educational Specialist in 1972 and doctor of Education in 1976 in Educational Administration.
In her profession she has served at Tucson Unified as a Consultant in Educational Administration in Curriculum Development from July 1989 until her recent retirement; Assistant Superintendent, high School region; Director of Planning Services; and Administrative Assistant in Learning and Staff Development. She has been a lecturer at U of A, principal at Cragin Elementary School, Organizing Director of the Tucson Association for Child Care, principal of Richey Elementary School, classroom teacher at Booth Elementary, and helping teacher in the music department and classroom teacher at Spring/Dunbar Elementary-Junior High School.
Anna’s past and present civic and professional memberships are numerous—she has served as President or Chairman of many organizations. Her Vita, on file with the Foundation, runs 5 pages, including her educational papers and presentations.
Anna’s honors and awards are: Town Response—Sigma Delta Chi (Society of Professional Journalism); undergraduate academic scholarship from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Women on the Move—1st Educational Award (1982) by the Tucson YWCA; participant in Arizona Town Halls, participant in Women’s Arizona Town Hall; Alumnae Achievement Award from U of A Black Alumni; Lifetime Achievement Award from the YWCA; 1996 Woman of the Year—Tucson chamber of Commerce; Partners for Democracy Award 11997 from the Tucson Chapter America-Israel Friendship League (the award was a 3,000 year old pot from an archaeological dig).
At present Anna serves on the Tucson community Foundation Board as President; on the Tucson Bond Oversight Committee for 1994 city bonds– chairman; on the Tucson-Pima Library Board; as a board member for the Steele Memorial Children’s Research Center of the U of A College of Medicine, which studies disease and genetic defects in prenatal, newborns and infants); as member of the Board and the Speaker’s Bureau of the Pima Council on Aging; as board member of the American-Israel Friendship League; as member of the Alpha Kappa Sorority, from which she received a scholarship as she entered the University, and which was reorganized when Anna graduated and still swards scholarships); as member of the board of Arizona Town Hall; as Superintendent of Sunday School and member of the Trustee Board of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.
Clarence Jolivet and Anna Turner met as freshmen at the U of A but did not marry until 1952. He was returned veteran born and reared in Nogales. Also an education major, he completed his BA at ASU, where he entered the ROTC. He was called back to service in Korea. Employed in Coolidge on his return, he commuted for six months from their home in Tucson until finding employment here. He taught sixth grade and junior high math before becoming a counselor, retiring from this position. Now they like to travel, both abroad and here in the U.S.
They have two children, Michael and Leslie, and three grandchildren. Two summers ago, Anna and her daughter and granddaughter went to Europe, where the girl’s dance group performed at Euro-Disney, at a jazz festival in Rome, and also in London. Of the historic sites they visited in London, Rome, and Paris and elsewhere, they found the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica particularly interesting.
Looking back at her high school days, Anna can say more teachers were supportive than not, but some made disparaging remarks– “You can’t get to college– you can’t go anywhere.” Anna proved them wrong.
Anna would be outstanding in any generation or any place in this country, but when we remember what it was like in the late 40’s and 50’s– for women and for African Americans– we realize how really great she is. And we see how very lucky she was to have had the mother she had. If every child in this country had such a mother, there would be no delinquents; but then not every mother has a child such as Anna.

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