Ms. Cathy Williams-Ridley, Principal
Ms. Cathy Williams begins her 22nd year serving in FWISD. This is her 5th year as principal at Leonard MS. She previously served as Asst. Principal at Southwest High School. She began her career as a Special Education teacher and coach at Dunbar High School.
Ms. Williams became interested in education and teaching when her younger brother was diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, diabetes, and a learning disability. She tutored him often with his homework and frequently assisted her parents with understanding his IEP and the mounds of paperwork from ARD meetings. After years of working with her family, she decided to major in special education. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, a Master’s degree from Prairie View A&M and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Tarleton State University.
“If your mind can dream it, you can achieve it” is Ms. Williams’s mantra. She believes all students can learn. Educators must teach the whole child and form a collaborative partnership with parents. Education is the ticket to a bright future.
Ms. Deborah Aspegren, 8th grade Assistant Principal
This will be Ms. Aspegren’s 11th year working in the Fort Worth ISD and her sixth year as a proud assistant principal of Leonard Middle School. Ms. Aspegren also worked at Brewer Middle School prior to joining the FWISD. She has a passion for teaching and learning and has taught math in FWISD. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University and Master’s degree from University of Texas at Arlington.
Ms. Aspegren believes that all students can learn and achieve academic success if given the right support. She is committed to providing an environment that demands learning from everyone including: teachers, students, parents, all stakeholders!
Ms. Aspegren is excited about working with the students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members to help make Leonard Middle School the “Best” school. At Leonard, excellence is the expectation, not the exception!
Mr. Keith Haliburton, 7th Grade Assistant Principal
I am Mr. Haliburton, an Assistant Principal of the Mighty Longhorns of Leonard Middle School. I am excited about the opportunity to serve the students, staff, parents, and community of Leonard Middle School. It has been my pleasure and honor to be an educator for the past 20 years, all of which have been in the service of the students of Fort Worth Independent School District (The Oak/ Wyatt). In this time I have been blessed to begin, develop, and cultivate educational relationships for the pursuit of academic, athletic, and artistic excellence.
I am a proud product of the Lake Worth Independent School District (GO Bullfrogs). While at Lake Worth, I participated in all that the school had to offer; excelling as both a student-athlete and band member. With the support of my parents (Tommy and Sue Haliburton), my siblings, my teachers/coaches (Perry, Chormleigh, and Griggers), and my peers I was selected by Grambling State University to participate in their High Ability Program. This opportunity provided the means for me to attend GSU, whereby I participated in both their track and marching band programs (“The World Fame”) all while maintaining academic excellence. I hold a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Masters of Educational Administration from Concordia University of Texas.
People have asked why I chose education. I explain to them it is the calling God placed in my life, it is an honor, and I have to answer this calling. I want to give back the support and service that my educators have given me. I believe in educating the whole child, and supporting those who are in the business of educating children. My educational philosophy is built on the principles of Discipline, Commitment, Integrity, and Sacrifice. Without these attributes attaining success is difficult. All students have the ability to learn; however how they learn may be different, thus we must differentiate our instructional practices and methodology to meet the needs of all students. Another important part of this process is developing relationships so that all stakeholders see the investment in the pursuit of excellence.
In my spare time I can be found exploring the world with my beautiful wife (an exceptional Uno player) Sarah, and my family. I enjoy music of many different genres and maintain a youthful heart. I look forward to making a positive impact, serving the student, staff, parents, and community; and assisting with the great direction Leonard Middles School is going!!!
Excellence is the expectation!
Dr. Jose Mendez, 6th Grade Assistant Principal
Dr. Mendez was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He left after high school to complete his undergraduate degree at Syracuse University. Since then he has lived in many areas of the world including France, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. In 2015, he moved back to the states from Playa del Carmen, Mexico. He is married to his best friend and they take care of Dr. Mendez's mother who is in her 80's and has Alzheimers. He also has three beautiful dogs!
He taught two years with the district at John T. White Elementary School. He served as assistant princial at Rufino Mendoza Elementary and Leadership Academy at Maude Logan. Dr. Mendez has an MBA from UNID Mexico, an MA in Educational Leadership from TCU, and a Doctorate in Education or Ed.D. from the Universidad del Sur in Mexico.
He is very excited to join the team under Ms. William's leadership and to support each and every student to make LMS a model for others in the district.