For the Love of the Kids – North Penn’s Ms. Lenora Ashford

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For the Love of the Kids – North Penn’s Ms. Lenora Ashford

Brad Rosenberger

Ms. Lenora Ashford outside of North Penn High School

Bridget Phillips, Staff Writer

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TOWAMENCIN – You’ve all seen her around school: whether she’s directing buses at the end of the day, monitoring lunches, or making sure students are on task, security Officer Ms. Lenora Ashford is one of the many gems of North Penn, inspiring lives one student at a time.

Ashford grew up in South Philadelphia, the oldest of five children to a single mom. She explains that it was a rough neighborhood, and just stepping out of the door usually led to trouble. “It was really hard,” she said.

Her early life made her aware of an important thing about life, though.

“All these kids walk into school carrying some sort of load, myself included, and I can’t be the one to impose that on them” she explains about how she understands that everyone has something going on in their lives. She says it is important to listen to kids and help them, explaining that “it only takes a few words”.

Before beginning her career at North Penn, Ashford was the head of security at Merill Lynch. She graduated from Strayer University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and she wants to take that degree further, hoping to one day open up an investigation company for insurance and other corporate companies.

Ashford’s time at North Penn made her realize how much she loved working with kids.

“I enjoy [the job] a lot; the thing I like most is the kids, and I guess the least is the politics of it all” says Ashford.  So in the future, she says her spare time will be spent volunteering to help kids.

For Ashford, at a school like North Penn, there have been so many interesting experiences that it’s hard to count, and she has a long list, but there was one experience that came to her mind. When North Penn used to have night school, she met a troubled kid who was having a hard time. She saw the potential in him and gave him advice to “get his head out of his behind,” she says with a giggle.

Years later, she ran into him at a gym and discovered he was in college for business; the student told her that he had finally “got his head out of his behind.”

Outside of her professional life, Ashford is a poetry lover, and one can find her reading with a cup of Dunkin Donuts in hand. When she isn’t seeking literary enlightenment, Ashford finds other outlets for fun as well.

“I’m either playing tennis or at home playing Madden” she says laughing.

Ashford is one of those great, friendly faces who enjoys her job very much, “I love doing it; when I have grandkids I’ll have stories to tell” she says.

Such an empathetic, understanding, and committed woman is hard to find, and we are lucky to have one on our own staff, protecting our school.

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