Class of InspireNOLA: Taurus Howard, Karr 1994

Class of InspireNOLA: Taurus Howard, Karr 1994
Posted on 10/22/2020

Being a student at Edna Karr left such a lasting impression on Taurus Howard that not only did he decide to become a teacher, but he also returned to his alma mater to do so.

“I think Karr is a special place. It’s like an extension of your house. People really care about you. They want you to be successful,” said Howard, Class of 1994 and Karr’s current head boys’ basketball coach and math interventionist. “Because I had coaches and teachers that were really instrumental in my development, I felt that I wanted to be that teacher or that coach to give back to the next generation.”

Howard said being a Karr student meant being dedicated and trying your hardest, characteristics he now instills in his students and athletes.

“The teachers were saying the same thing my coaches were saying: If you’re going to be dedicated and work hard out there on the court, you better do the same thing in the classroom,” he said. “I found that really special, and it made me want to go in that direction for my career as a teacher and a coach because I wanted to serve the young kids as those teachers and coaches served me.”

Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from Nicholls State University and began teaching special education three months later. 

“I fell in love with those kids. I felt they needed more attention, so I went to Xavier and got my master’s degree and my certificate in special education,” he said. “I’ve been doing that for 10 years before switching over to being an interventionalist in math.” 

Howard said getting his master’s degree was his greatest academic achievement.

“Growing up, no one ever pushed you to get a college degree, let alone a master’s degree so I am really proud of that,” he said. 

As for coaching, Howard is no stranger to success. He served as assistant coach for Karr’s 2007 state championship basketball team as well as assistant coach for Karr’s recent five state football championships. He was also a member of the 1994 state basketball championship team his senior year. 

“We had lost at the buzzer my junior year, and we came back the next year and played the same team and ended up beating them,” he said. “The guys who were on my team, we sort of grew up together so we formed a bond from going to school and playing ball, and we still hook up every now and then and share some of those stories to this day.”

Building those positive relationships is key to Howard. One of the lessons he learned at Karr that he shares with his students is to always be aware of how they interact with others.

“Treat people how you want to be treated,” he said. “With kids, coworkers, teachers, administrators, I really try to treat people like that, and I find that it’s a better working relationship. It’s an even better teacher-to-student relationship when you treat people that way.”

Howard said he hopes he can be that positive role model and support for his students like others were for him and that they love their time at Karr just as much as he does. 

“If I didn’t have a family or a wife and kids and didn’t have to pay bills, I think I would work here for free. That’s just how special a place it is to me. But we all know we have to support our family, so I am glad they decided to pay me,” he joked. 

Class of InspireNOLA is an ongoing series profiling current InspireNOLA Charter Schools teachers and staff that are alumni of one our eight schools.

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