Kirkpatrick MS Dedicates Class Wing, Auditorium to Two Educators
The eighth-grade wing and auditorium at Kirkpatrick Middle School now bear the names of former Principal Jorge Mendoza and teacher Leo Vaughns Jr.
New signage at the entrance of the wing and school auditorium was unveiled at a special dedication ceremony, May 23.
The honorees were celebrated with an extensive ceremony that included remarks from Superintendent Kent P. Scribner, other District officials and Kirkpatrick alumni, a video presentation, performances from the North Side High School Mariachi- Espuelas de Plata and the Kirkpatrick Choir and the presentation of colors by the Kirkpatrick Middle School JCC. Ceremony guests joined processions to the eighth-grade hall and auditorium where signage for the Jorge Mendoza Wing and Leo Vaughns Jr. Auditorium was revealed.
Last year, the FWISD Board of Education approved motions to name the school’s eighth-grade wing for Mr. Mendoza and its auditorium for Mr. Vaughns, the school’s eighth-grade English language arts teacher and the 2018-2019 Chase Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary English.
Mr. Mendoza worked 30 years for the District. He joined FWISD as a social studies teacher at J.P. Elder Middle School and went on to become a central office administrator, assistant principal and principal. A bulk of his career, 23 years, was spent as an assistant principal and principal at Kirkpatrick Middle School. Along with his wife, who worked for the Fort Worth Police Department, Mr. Mendoza held annual crime prevention meetings at the school for the community, according to board agenda documents.
He remains actively involved as a community volunteer and speaking at various events at his former school.
“I think it’s a privilege for anyone to have a school or part of a school named after them,” Mr. Mendoza said after last year’s announcement that a wing would bear his name. “I think that’s a great honor.”
Mr. Vaughns joined the District 29 years ago as a music teacher, which he taught for several years before transitioning into ELA. Throughout his career he’s participated with the after-school program, produced all the school plays, rewritten the school anthem and written curriculum, according to board documents. He also founded Wildcat Brothers.
He previously said it’s a joy to know the school auditorium is being named for him.
“I was proud of course … just ecstatic,” Mr. Vaughns said. “I was shocked. Speechless.”
Mr. Mendoza hired Mr. Vaughns to teach at Kirkpatrick in the early 1990s. Mr. Vaughns said he looked to Mr. Mendoza as a supportive mentor, and he’s ecstatic to share this honor with him.
“To have [facilities] named after him and myself is an impact to the entire North Side community,” Mr. Vaughns said earlier this year. “It will be something. They’ll never forget us.”