Erik Turner

Principal, Julius L. Chambers High School in Charlotte


Erik Turner has clarity on his purpose as principal of Julius L. Chambers High School in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Over the course of his career, Erik has served as a middle-school principal and social studies teacher in CMS, fire fighter and founder of an after-school enrichment program for inner-city males. He is a native of Charlotte and holds a BA from North Carolina Central University and Masters from Gonzaga University. Erik served on The Belk Foundation Grants Committee from 2016-18.

What do you consider your organization's greatest achievement?

Reducing the out-of-school suspension rate at Sedgefield Middle by 46.2% during the 2015-2016 school year

What quality do you most admire in a school leader?

Inspiring their team under a clear vision for student success

If you could change one thing about public education, what would it be?

Earlier exposure to career exploration and pathway options

What is your current state of mind?

Thankful that I now have clarity of my purpose

Which living person do you most admire?

My father (Michael Turner)

When and where were you happiest?

2012 in St. Lucia when my wife and I renewed our wedding vows

Who are your favorite writers?

Kahlil Gibran, Paulo Coelho, Ronald Heifetz

What is your most treasured possession?

My education

What is your most marked characteristic?

Calm and reflective

Favorite motto or quote?

“Go hard or Go home”

Advice you would give to a young person interested in a profession in education?

It’s not your job to tell a child what they can or cannot be. It’s your job to make them believe they can become whatever they want to be.

What were you really into when you were a kid?

Basketball and Ghost Stories

Learn more about Julius L. Chambers High School