• Turner/Bartels K-8 History

    In July 2014, Turner/Bartels K-8 was officially opened. TBK8 was created by combining two existing schools: Hilda Turner Elementary and Nancy Bartels Middle.

    Turner/Bartels contains two campuses. The Lower Campus houses PreK thru 3rd grade. The Upper Campus houses 4th thru 8th grade. Turner/Bartels has a Media Center, Front Office and Cafeteria on each campus.

    Below is the history behind the naming of our two campuses.

    photo of Turner

    Hilda Theodocia Turner
    Hilda Theodocia Turner was born in Tampa, Florida in 1903 to Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Turner. She graduated from Atlanta University High School in Boca Raton and earned her bachelor’s degree from Atlanta University. Miss Turner took additional courses to finish her professional development at Depaul University and Northwestern University Chicago Teachers College.

    In 1943, Miss Turner was the only volunteer plaintiff in a suit filed against the Hillsborough County Board of Education. The suit, which was won in federal court, sought equal salaries for all teachers, regardless of race. In their letter of nomination to the school board, the national council of negro women wrote, “Miss Turner made a huge sacrifice by offering herself as a plaintiff during a time when such a stand could have cost her extreme emotional, economic and social despair.” In undertaking this endeavor, Miss Turner helped to bring a major change to the Hillsborough County School System in which teachers receive compensation commensurate with their level of training and length of service.

    Miss Turner was active in the education community. She served as a member of the Nation Education Association, the National Retired Teachers Association and the Florida State Teachers Association, where she also served as President.

    On May 7, 2006 we honored Miss Turner by dedicating what is now our Lower Campus building.



    photo of Bartels Nancy Bartels
    Mrs. Nancy Bartels was a longtime counselor and teacher. Mrs. Bartels died of a virus suddenly and unexpectedly at age 57. Mrs. Bartels' husband of nearly 34 years, Freedom High School principal Richard Bartels, was honored to have his wife given such a tribute as having a school named in her behalf. Mrs. Bartels husband said “she worked to eliminate the academic achievement gap between races long before it became in vogue. She enrolled students with special education needs in her award-winning choirs well before the federal government required inclusion.” Administrators would put students who had failed everywhere else into her classes, where they would succeed. "She set her standards high and challenged her kids to attain that," Mr. Bartels said. "I am amazed so many people came up to me after the board meeting and said how fitting it was to name a school after someone who dedicated her life to middle school youngsters." He expected the new school to have an excellent counseling staff and a stellar music program in recognition of the things most important to his wife, who began her career as a choral teacher before entering counseling. Barbara Ramsey, a teacher at Newsome High School, said she was especially pleased that her longtime friend's name would go on a middle school. "People don't have a lot of respect for middle schools, and Nancy did," Ramsey said. "She was such an advocate for middle schools."

    Mrs. Bartels, who lived in Valrico, spent much of her career at Dowdell, Buchanan and Tomlin middle schools. As a counseling supervisor, she worked most closely with middle school counselors, though she would help anyone who called. Widely known and respected, Ramsey said, Mrs. Bartels was so low-key that the fuss over naming the school "would probably embarrass her." Joyce Saunders, Mrs. Bartels' secretary for nearly 11 years, thought her friend and boss would be humbled by the situation. "She was never one to think that she was anybody," Saunders said. Saunders remembered Mrs. Bartels as someone who quietly touched peoples' lives, who never saw the bad in anyone. While the two traveled together in New York, Saunders said, Mrs. Bartels bought pink rhinestone-encrusted glasses with rose-colored lenses. She'd pull them out during gripe sessions, or when others got negative. School district chief of staff Ken Otero recalled Mrs. Bartels as one who would find a way to help students succeed, but also had an ability to "work with the grownups, too." People felt at ease in her presence, Mr. Bartels said, because she wasn't awed by a person's station in life. Mrs. Bartels loved music; “she played guitar and keyboard, and enjoyed Beethoven as much as the Beatles,” her husband said. She'd always listen to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack on trips with Ramsey to the outlet mall in Ellenton, and she knew all the words to Louie, Louie, that garbled garage band hit that seems to have no words at all. "She always said to me that's what she wanted on her headstone, that she knew the words to Louie, Louie," Saunders said, laughing. The Bartels had planned to retire and travel together at the end of the school year. They have one son, Robert, an Orlando lawyer who still calls himself "a teacher's kid."

    Nancy Bartels Middle School opened its doors in August of 2006.