Mother of twins teaches special ed
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Sep 26, 2013 | 994 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Mahala Turner and her husband Norman found out they were going to be parents, they were thinking they’d have one baby. They were surprised to learn they’d be having twins.

“When we went to the doctor’s office and the nurse was doing an ultrasound, she looked anxiously at Norman and told him he might want to sit down,” said Mahala. “He did. We both felt like we were about to get some exciting news.”

Several months later, Luke and Della Rose arrived. They’re now busy 2-year-old toddlers.

Mahala said the most wonderful way she can describe having twins isn’t original.

“The best way I can put it comes from something I read in a book about other parents of multiples,” she said. “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart. That’s exactly how I feel.”

Mahala was born in Guntersville and graduated from Guntersville High School. Both her undergraduate and graduate degrees are in special education from Jacksonville State University. Three years ago she went to UAB to earn a psychometry certification in order to do educational testing.

This is her ninth year at Kitty Stone. She’d been wanting to teach special education for a long time.

“I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart, even in high school, for students who learn differently or don’t always fit in with their peers,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be helpful to them.”

Her first year students are now in high school. She likes to watch them as they grow. It makes her day when she runs into them and they remember her.

Norman is the social development director at Gadsden Job Corp Center. He’s from Pell City. He and Mahala met at JSU. They’ve been married seven years.

Mahala’s parents are Doug and Liz Godwin of Guntersville. Her brother, Isaac Godwin, lives in Jacksonville and works for The Anniston Star.

The Turners are members of Mountain View Church in Anniston where they volunteer in the nursery.

Mahala likes to read historical fiction and cook.

Her mother taught her how to make cornbread, dressing, and many other delicious southern-style meals. She enjoys trying new recipes and often doesn’t make the same thing twice, unless it’s something like spaghetti which is a family favorite.

Contact Margaret at


Crockpot Cornbread Dressing

1 whole chicken
1 ½ c. self-rising flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 can cream of celery soup
¾ c. buttermilk
2 ½ T. oil (to preheat skillet)
1 ½ c. self-rising corn meal
6 eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick margarine
Sage, salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken until well done. (Save broth.) Mix flour, cornmeal, eggs, onion, celery, soup and buttermilk. Bake in large skillet at 375 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Crumble cornbread in crockpot. Add mushroom soup, sage, salt and pepper, deboned chicken, and mix with broth until slightly soupy. Cut up margarine on top and cook on high for thee hours, then low for two hours.

Green Chili (Crock Pot)

1 jar salsa Verde
2 lb. chicken, cubed
15 oz. corn, drained
1 can navy beans, drained
1 can green chiles
1 onion, chopped
1 T. minced garlic
2 t. ground cumin
½ t. salt
½ c. chopped, fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients (except cilantro) in crockpot. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Stir in cilantro. Serve with sour cream.

Corn Casserole

1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14 oz.) cream corn
8 oz. corn muffin Jiffy mix
1 c. sour cream
½ c. butter, melted
1 ½ c. shredded cheese

Stir together corn, muffin mix, sour cream and butter. Pour in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake 5-10 more minutes.

Baked Oatmeal

1 c. old-fashioned oats
¼ c. chopped walnuts
½ t. baking powder
¾ t. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
¼ c. maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
2-3 ripened bananas
1 c. berries (frozen or fresh)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9x13 dish. Mix oats, ½ of walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Combine (in separate bowl) soup syrup, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla. Spread bananas on bottom of dish. Top with ½ c. of berries. Sprinkle on dry oat mixture. Pour liquid mixture over evenly. Sprinkle rest of nuts and berries. Bake 35-40 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
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Mother of twins teaches special ed by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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