KATY (Covering Katy News) – Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees approved to name the District’s newest elementary school after Olga Leonard. The new school is currently being built in the northwest quadrant of the district in the Morton Creek Ranch subdivision.
Leonard is known for her accomplishments as an elementary, junior high, and high school classroom teacher, an instructional specialist and as an elementary campus administrator in Katy ISD. She first came to the District in 1985 as a first-grade teacher at Bear Creek Elementary, followed by K-6 instructional careers at West Memorial Elementary and Hutsell Elementary.
In 1987, Mrs. Leonard began collaborating with the district as a curriculum writer and teacher trainer, while providing bilingual instruction to students at Sundown Elementary where she was honored as Teacher of the Year in 1989. After that, Olga served as a teacher, team leader and ESL teacher at Cimarron Elementary.
Following her years in the elementary setting, Olga began teaching Spanish at West Memorial Junior High and McDonald Junior High. She earned her teaching certification for secondary Spanish, served as a member of the Texas Collaborative Transition Project Committee, and soon went on to teach Spanish at Taylor High School. During this time, Olga delivered multiple professional development sessions at the state and national level, even winning “Best in State.”
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The end of the century marked the moment that Olga Leonard began her educational administrative journey. She served as an instructional specialist for Bilingual Education, Languages Other than English (LOTE) and English as a Second Language (ESL). Her success in paving the way to multiculturalism in the Katy granted her the opportunity to take bilingualism to a whole new level. Leonard implemented dual language programs serving both speakers of other languages and native English speaking students. In 2001, she helped open Schmalz Elementary as an assistant principal, where she served until 2003. The following year, she also assisted in the opening of Kilpatrick Elementary, also as an assistant principal.
Always putting children first, her passion for student learning can be seen in the distinctive artistic seal Olga left in the murals she painted and donated to Schmalz Elementary and Memorial Parkway Elementary.
After being an assistant principal in two Katy ISD schools, she went on to serve as principal of Memorial Parkway Elementary, interim principal at Polly McRoberts Elementary, and as supervisor of student teachers.
Olga Leonard graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1981, with a Bachelor of Arts in Bilingual Elementary Education. Her voyage into the classroom started the same year when she was hired as a bilingual teacher in Spring Branch ISD. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision with Principal Certification from the University of Houston. Olga and her husband have two adult children.