Meet Mr. Barnes, Lower School Dean of Students

New Lower School Dean of Students Ashton Barnes has a passion for reaching students and creating a "safe space" where they feel respected, appreciated and cared for.

"What excites me most about my new position is the ability to have a bigger presence and encourage a positive atmosphere for both students and staff at Lawrence," Ashton said. "My main goal for the 2018-19 school year is to be someone our children can come to if they need guidance, help with their peers, or simply a kind listening ear."

Ashton initially joined the Lawrence staff in 2017 as a school psychologist and was named Lower School Dean of Students this past summer. He equates his current position as a mix of three essential roles at the school, including school counselor, school psychologist and "vice principal."

Although his primary focus is on helping students, Ashton wants parents to know that he is also available as a resource for them. If there is ever a question about how their child is doing in school or why they are acting a certain way at home, Ashton's door is always open.

Ashton is a 2010 graduate of Penn State University and holds a number of advanced degrees from Edinboro University, including a Masters of Education in School Psychology and an Educational Specialist degree. Prior to his time at Lawrence, he spent six years as an emotional support staff member at the Barber National Institute in Erie, Pa., where he served children with intellectual disabilities and autism.

Ashton can be reached at or by calling 440.832.7837.

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