Principal's Message

Leslie Willis

Welcome To Mabel Padgett Elementary School!

Principal Leslie Willis

     I am originally from a small town in Ohio where I was raised by my parents Joyce and Jerry Capers.  I moved to Arizona in 1998 to study Elementary Education at Arizona State University.  I have been married to my husband Bob for 18 years and we have two boys, Matthew (14) and Brody (12). After I graduated college, I began teaching in the Litchfield School District where I taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade.  In 2008, I received my Masters in Educational Leadership which led me to become an Instructional Coach at Mabel Padgett.  I am extremely excited to be the new principal of MPE for the 2018-2019 school year and look forward to serving the community of Goodyear.

As a parent and an elementary school principal, I am very invested in our community and the students we serve. I believe it takes a collaborative effort from teachers, parents, board members, administrators, students and community members to have a successful school that provides an excellent environment for teaching and learning.  

Mabel Padgett History

    Our school was established in the Litchfield District in 2010 and was named in honor of the first teacher in the Litchfield District.  In 1916 a large labor camp was established near the present intersection of Indian School and Dysart Roads, a few months later the camp was moved to what is now the center of Litchfield Park. The farmers were working to supply cotton to the Goodyear Tire Company. In 1917 a temporary public school was established in what had been a cook shack with 11 pupils under the tutelage of Mrs. Mabel Padgett, wife of Litchfield Ranch Operations Manager, John Padgett. In 1918 school bonds were approved for a permanent public school in the Litchfield area. Mabel Padgett Elementary is steeped in history and focused on a vibrant future. As a community we are working to provide a remarkable and significant difference in the lives of our children.


Students behave the Padgett Way
by exhibiting the Panther Pillars around campus everyday.

Mabel Code

Model •Be the person you want others to become •Be kind and compassionate • Express gratitude

Achieve •We are all in this together •Work hard • Have the courage to do the right thing

Believe  •We care! • Respect everyone • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Forgive others

Excel • Choose a helpful behavior •Always do your best  • Set a “pawsitive” example for others • Be a S.T.A.R

Learn •See the best in others Mistakes are opportunities to learn • Take turns and share

That’s the Panther Way and I live it everyday!


Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) is a program supported by the Arizona Department of Education to promote and maximize academic achievement and behavioral competence. It is a school-wide strategy for helping all students achieve important social, behavior and educational goals. We know that when exemplary behavior and stellar teaching come together, students will reach their maximum potential. The staff at Mabel Padgett Elementary is proud to be leading this initiative at our school. For more information please check out the links below.

Mabel matrix for PBIS using the Panther Pillars

Our parent letter explaining PBIS at MPE






Archived Messages