Rising up in the ranks at ASD


Photographer: Claire R.

Ms. Maria Leonor is enjoying her new work life as part of the ASD I.T. crew.

Christian B., Reporter

A true underdog story is about someone we all can support because their story stirs us. We like thinking about those who overcome obstacles to improve their lot. Whether it is Steve Jobs in the world of technology or Rocky Balboa in the boxing ring, it is always inspirational to see someone defy odds and move up in the world.

This is exactly what Ms. Maria Leonor has done here at ASD. Leonor worked as a bus monitor for Tri-Logistics with ASD students for 10 years. For nine of those 10 years, she helped out in the HS library at the same time, working during the hours between morning and after-school bus rides.

Leonor is from the Philippines, where her family still lives. She has spent all her time in Qatar without her family while working two jobs. Leonor explained that she has typically had to get up very early in the morning to have a bath, as she shares one room with multiple other women.

On the subject of working two jobs, Leonor said that she has needed the extra income — from both Tri-Logistics and the library work — to support her family back home. Her aunt has recently been diagnosed with cancer, which is what helped motivate Leonor through her challenging struggles. She said, “I have good ethics in working.”

During all these years, Leonor explained that she was “longing to be sponsored [by the school] because you’re going to receive many benefits, and it will help me. Actually, it’s very hard for me to work two jobs but I have to do it for the main thing of my work in ASD.”

This winter, Leonor will be moving up to a new position in IT, working solely for the school.

Although Leonor has done quite a lot of work with electronic and computer equipment loaned out from the library, she has not until recently had the opportunity to use her technical skills in a skilled role at ASD. “Fortunately I was accepted,” Leonor gladly said. “I was qualified for the position, so it really means a lot to wait. Patience is a virtue.”

She left Qatar on December 1 as Prof Macro Transportation Services, the bus company, canceled her visa when she stopped being employed by their company. Leonor stayed in Sri Lanka for a few days to wait for the new visa sponsored by ASD. About the required travel and rigamarole involved with necessary paperwork, Leonor simply laughed. “At least I’ll be able to see Sri Lanka again,” she said. Upon her return, she has taken up her new role in the IT section of the school.

This promotion is truly meaningful to Leonor, and she said she was “very grateful.” She proudly announced that she would now be better able to support her family back home in the Philippines as well as the sponsorship giving her many new benefits. She also plans to move to a larger single apartment, which she is very happy about.

Current Head Librarian Robert Smith knows that the ASD library and students have benefitted from the capabilities Maria Leonor has brought to her library work. In an email message to all ASD HS teachers, he noted, “Maria has been an incredible asset in this capacity and her knowledge and skills will be greatly missed!”

Leonor ended our ASD Times interview by thanking Mrs. Linda Hoiseth, former librarian of ASD. She also thanked all of the students and teachers, adding that “Most of the teachers and students are very helpful.”

Mr. Smith announced that Katherine Gonzaga has been hired as the MSHS library’s new AV assistant. She also has a background in IT and in customer service.