Taurus Howard, Karr 1994

Taurus Howard, Karr 1994
Posted on 10/22/2020

“Winning the 1994 state basketball championship my senior year is one of my fondest high school memories,” said Edna Karr’s head boys basketball coach and math interventionist Tarus Howard, who is also a 1994 Karr alumnus. 

“I think what made it special was we had lost at the buzzard my junior year, and we came back the next year and played the same team and ended up beating them,” he said. “Another thing that made it special was they 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 share some of those stories to this day.”

Howard said it was his experiences at Karr that inspired him to become a coach and teacher.  

“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 kids that were coming behind me,” he said. 

It was his love of Karr that made Howard want to return to work here.

“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," he said. "I just felt that was real inspiration for me going to college. That really helped me get through college and I want to do the same for 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 in the building 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 to me, 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 coming behind me as those teachers and coaches served me.”

After graduating Karr, Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from Nicholls State University before receiving his teaching certificate and master’s degree from Xavier University of Louisiana.

Though Howard played basketball throughout college, he suffered a major knee injury his junior year.

“That injury really made me concentrate in school and made me sit down and figure out what I really want to do because it was looking like the basketball thing wasn’t going to work out,” he said. 

Howard graduated Nicholls in May and was teaching special education by August. 

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

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

“Coming from an uptown neighborhood, 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 far as athletically, I’ve been able to serve as an assistant coach for the 2007 state championship basketball team as well as assistant coach for five state football championships.”

One of the lessons Howard 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, and I think those are some of the important things I’ve learned from Karr.”

Howard also advises his students to not get caught up with wanting to impress others for their acceptance, but instead be true to themselves. 

“In this day and age, social media has confused kids. They want to be accepted by people they don't even know,” he said. “What I would suggest is you have to be more selfish with yourself, to pave a way for yourself so you can be successful. Treat yourself to where you can accept yourself. It doesn’t matter if others accept you. I think if you do that, other people won’t have another choice but to accept you because you’ll be doing the right things.” 

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.