#MNPSVoices: Lakisha Tucker, Front Office Assistant

Lakisha Tucker’s life revolves around children. As the front office assistant at Paragon Mills Elementary School, she helps with the YMCA after-school programs and has four sons of her own, all under the age of 14, who keep her busy.

“My favorite part of work is waking up and coming to see the kids every day,” Tucker said. “When I’m able to put a smile on their faces, I feel like I did everything I was supposed to do.”

She is even the go-to person for her friends on weekends when they need childcare—somehow never running short of energy or becoming tired of children. Not only is Tucker great with kids, she is first-aid and CPR-trained, skills she, unfortunately, had to use last year when a student was having a medical emergency.

“It was a scary situation but we were taught to keep calm,” Tucker said. “I was not going to give up doing CPR until that child was safe.”

And that is exactly what she did until the student regained consciousness.

“Thanks to Ms. Tucker’s initiative, perseverance and ‘never give up’ attitude a child’s life was saved,” said Dr. Joie Austria, former principal of Paragon Mills. “Her actions had a deep, positive impact on our school community as a whole. She has inspired many staff members to continue to be positive and to enthusiastically be willing to help others in times of need.”

Tucker has been at Paragon Mills for 13 years, more than half of which was through the YMCA after-school program. She has enjoyed getting to know families as well as the school staff who she admires for their focus on providing all students with a quality education. This year, Tucker wants to continue to problem solve for families any way she can and get more involved in the diverse community she loves.

“She is a positive, enthusiastic person who is always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs her help – whether it be teachers, parents, or students,” Dr. Austria said. “She focuses on solutions and inspires trust.”