Hazelwood security guard is school’s ‘granny’

"I look at these babies if they were my grandchildren. I'm here for them and for their safety."

The ‘Hallway Staple’ series showcase the men and women who work in our schools-- the ‘heart and soul’ of the districts.

Students in Florissant call their school security guard "granny." LaDonna Vaughn is a veteran security guard at Hazelwood North Middle School. Her daily routine consists of normal tasks like directing traffic outside and students inside.

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But she’s more than a guard to the students and staff at North middle.

"She's considered a grandma to most around here," said North Middle Principal Dr. Tony Brooks. "She believes in holding students accountable, but she does it lovingly. It's discipline and nurturing at the same time."

Granny Vaughn repeatedly shouts three words in the hallways as she welcomes students: “Make good choices!”

She cares not only for the safety of the students but also their futures.

"They [students] know what I expect. I look at these babies, if they were my grandchildren. I'm here for them and for their safety," Vaughn said.

Vaughn believes it truly takes a village to raise a child.

"I'm trying to teach them respect. Trying to teach them to motivate themselves and get a good education and let them see what they can do in the future," Vaughn said.

Her tough and tender approach is working. When students move into the high school and even after graduation, they come back to see Granny Vaughn.

"I'm excited, especially when it's those that used to give me problems and then you look at them now and say 'look at what you have done now for yourself. You made it and I told you, you can do it,’" she said.