TEACHER OF THE MONTH — Port Neches Elementary’s Ashley Lofton lauded for work in & out of classroom

Published 12:30 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022

PORT NECHES — Port Neches Elementary School Principal Kimberly Carter called it a privilege to work with Ashley Lofton, but a blessing to be her friend.

“Ashley Lofton is amazing,” Carter said. “She is a life changer. Her thumbprint will be left on the lives of the children that she has served for generations to come.”

It’s just one of the many reasons Lofton was nominated by her campus to be named the April Teacher of the Month sponsored by Philpott Motors. The honor came with a $500 gift card and automatic entry into the Teacher of the Year contest.

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“At Port Neches Elementary, we focus on providing students with the best education possible,” Carter said. “We strive to make sure all of our students have the tools and resources they need to meet their goals. Mrs. Ashley Lofton is a stand-out when it comes to doing whatever it takes to ensure the success of her students.”

View a video of the presentation here.

And their pride in her was resoundingly obvious this week when the fifth grade math and science teacher was surprised with the award in front of her students.

When asked by Philpott Motors General Manager Daren Granger if Mrs. Lofton was a great teacher, he was met by a room full of children screaming, “Yes!”

They clapped as loudly for her as she humbly accepted the award.

But her love for children shows in and outside of the classroom, as Lofton is the mother of four young children.

“All boys,” she said with pride Monday.

From left: Philpott Motors General Manager Daren Granger, Port Arthur Newsmedia Marketing Representative Candace Hemelt, Port Neches Elementary Teacher Ashley Lofton and Port Neches Elementary Principal Kimberly Carter. (Monique Batson/The News)

She first began teaching 13 years ago for Richardson ISD, and moved the following year to Port Arthur ISD, where she spent four years. The remaining time has been spent at PNGISD.

It’s a career path she didn’t expect, originally obtaining a degree in psychology to be a crisis counselor.

“I started working in college in a daycare and fell in love with the classroom,” she said. “I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”

She added that being able to influence the students in a positive way is her favorite part of the job.

The Nederland High School graduate has been married since 2008 to Jesse Loftin, also of Mid County. Jesse is the lead pastor at Carpenter’s Way in Groves.

“Mrs. Lofton brings energy, enthusiasm and commitment to all aspects of her job. She is a problem-solver, an innovator and a dynamic member of our PNE team,” Carter said. “In her time at Port Neches Elementary, she has quickly established herself as the go-to person when dealing with the fifth grade science curriculum and instruction. Her knowledge of the curriculum and instruction is second to none.”

Lofton is praised by coworkers for collaborating with other fifth grade teachers throughout the district to develop lesson plans, working to integrate technology and collecting student data to better instruct her coursework.

And her “motherly instincts and empathy coupled with complete professionalism” bring an extra element to her work, Carter added.

“She can accelerate and challenge her brightest students because of the professional development experiences and innovations she has pursued and mastered,” the principal said.