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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Special Education aide Mrs. Susan Bones announces retirement

Shreeya Patel
Mrs. Bones poses in her classroom, surrounded by the equipment used by her students.

Mrs. Susan Bones is retiring after 23 years as a special education aide at North Penn. Her dedication to countless special needs students has profoundly impacted the school community.

“I have been working as a special education assistant for the past three years, assigned to a wonderful student with cerebral palsy. It has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience to work with her on a one-on-one basis, helping her to learn and grow,” Bones shared. “In fact, I have been working with students with special needs for over 20 years now, and have been with the district for a total of 23 years. It is truly my passion to help these students reach their full potential and achieve their goals.”

Bones didn’t attend college for education but pursued education through night school and community college programs, focusing on risk management and insurance.

“I did not attend college. I attended night school and Philadelphia Community College for risk management and insurance. When I first was hired, I learned everything either through professional development, seminars, or things that they provided here at the school. That’s how I learned what I needed to know,” Bones described.

Before coming to North Penn, Bones was an insurance underwriter. At North Penn, she discovered a passion for working with students and has enjoyed her time ever since.

“I worked for multiple insurance companies for about 17 years before joining North Penn. As an insurance underwriter, commuting to the city center became increasingly difficult for me as I had to take care of my young children. So, I moved up this way and started working at North Penn where I fell in love with working with the students. Since then, I have been enjoying my time here,” Bones described.

Initially, Bones started working as a special education aide due to the job’s flexible hours. Her initial goal was not to become a teacher but to find a job that fit her family’s needs.

“At the time, I had a son who was in special education; he had learning disabilities. I started initially because the job offered very good hours, and it was just a way for me to be able to work around my kid’s schedule because the hours were just so wonderful to do. Initially, my idea was not to be teaching,” Bones stated.

Working with professional and dedicated special education colleagues, including assistants and teachers, made Bones’ job more fulfilling and enjoyable.

“I love working with the staff, the people in my room, all of the other special ed assistants, and the teachers that I work with. They’re just, they’re professional, they’re wonderful. They’re hardworking people. They love what they do, and it makes your job easier. So I would have to say that that’s the best part of what I do,” Bones said excitingly.

Through her role, Bones deeply understood the experiences and requirements of individuals with disabilities.

“My favorite part of my job is what I’ve learned over the years, and looking back and saying, if I hadn’t done what I’ve done over the years, I would have never understood many of the things I do now about people with disabilities. And I would have never been able to experience all of that without working with the students,” Bones stated.

Bones learned the most significant lesson throughout her North Penn Career: We should prioritize understanding and considering the needs of others rather than focusing solely on ourselves. 

“Understand that it’s not all about me; it is about the other person and their lives just as much as anybody else’s. I must also be patient and understanding and always think about what I must do for the next person,” Bones said. 

Bones hopes that she has significantly impacted the students she has worked with and that they will remember her for the rest of their lives. Knowing she has left a lasting impression on them would bring her great joy and satisfaction.

“I hope that I have made a difference. And after 23 years, I hope I’ve touched some people’s lives. Some of the students I’ve worked with, I hope they remember me in some way if that’s all I get is a remembrance that will make me happy,” Bones concluded.

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