#MNPS Voices AshFord Reed, Facilities, Ground and Maintenance Department
AshFord Reed never expected to work in the education field until his wife, LaToya, a veteran elementary school coach, recommended him for a position. Following a successful career as a retail furniture manager, Reed joined the Metro Nashville Public Schools Facilities, Ground and Maintenance Department in 2012 as an accountant clerk. He now is the department’s office manager.
“I never expected to work in education,” said Reed, a Memphis native. “It wasn’t until the application process that I realized what it took for a school district to run. When I realized it was a business, I knew I would be an asset.”
Although the maintenance department is a small team, it has the tremendous responsibility for maintaining the district’s 163 buildings – from the roof to the athletic grounds. Reed said one of the biggest misconceptions about the department is that they have a large staff with an abundant amount of resources.
“The maintenance department is the screws and nails, and the nuts and bolts that literally hold the schools together,” he said.
Even with a small team, Reed said the department always focuses on being more customer service driven.
“When our customers – students, teachers and administrators - are not happy with the level of service we are providing, we have to do something different,” Reed said. “The maintenance department is just one piece of the educational process but it’s an important one. We make sure that the buildings where learning happens are not an eyesore and things continue to work.”
While Reed enjoys his work with MNPS, he still makes time for other activities. Reed is a talented pianist who plays by trained ear for his church. He also spends time traveling with his wife.