Beloved Counselor Remembered


Kendra Leirer, who passed on August 4, 2019, is remembered as a dedicated counselor, helpful friend, and loving mother.

“Even on her worst days when she wasn’t feeling well, she always showed up and did her job to the fullest of her ability,” says North Little Rock High School alumnus De’Myla Brown about Kendra Leirer, a former counselor at NLRHS. Unfortunately, Leirer passed on August 4, 2019 from stage four colorectal cancer. She first began working in the North Little Rock School District 18 years ago at Ridgeroad Elementary as a math teacher.

 “I learned I think especially once she was diagnosed with cancer that every moment is precious, and to live it to the most,” says NLRHS counselor Debbie Horton.

Her strength and selflessness inspired co-workers and students in ways that couldn’t be described in one sitting. “I definitely learned from her to never quit even if everything feels as if it is falling apart,” says Brown.

Leirer is remembered for her dedication to her friends, family, and the students of NLRHS. She was continuously described as someone knowledgeable in several aspects of life.

Jokingly, NLRHS head counselor Gwen Leger said one of her favorite memories was telling Leirer to stop talking. “I thought I talked a lot until I met her. She probably knew everything. She was an incredibly intelligent woman,” says Leger.

 When her friends and family had a problem, they were sure that Leirer would be able to fix it. “That woman could lay tiles; she can change a light fixture….she was like having your very own handyman,” says Horton.

In those last days, the Leirer family and their friends were present at every moment to give love and support to Kendra Leirer, just as she had done for them throughout her life. During the final stages of Kendra Leirer’s treatment, her daughter, Alex Leirer, was attending Mississippi State University.  Alex was ready to come home in a heartbeat when she heard her mother was transferred into hospice care. Despite her circumstances, Kendra Leirer encouraged Alex not to worry and to stay at school. To her mother’s request Alex says she responded, “I cannot go on with my life If you are sitting here not being able to go on with yours.”

Alex Leirer (r) with her mom.

Kendra Leirer will continue to hold a special place in the hearts of the North Little Rock community. She led by example as she encouraged many individuals to work hard and never give up.  Though words may fail us, Alex Leirer shares one simple message to her mother that the entire NLR community can agree with:

“Thank you.”