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Riddlesden St Mary

Meet the Leadership Team


Linda Wright - Headteacher

 My name is Linda Wright and I am the Headteacher at Riddlesden St Mary’s. I joined the team in September 2012 as the Deputy Head and I have always been extremely proud of belonging to an excellent team of staff, despite the challenges we have faced over the years. I was appointed Headteacher in February 2015.

I started teaching in September 2004 and whilst my specialism was Early Years, I have taught across all year groups. In 2008, I became a maths specialist. This was a great opportunity to really get to grips with mathematical development from the Early Years into adulthood. I have always had a love of learning and finding out new things, something we work hard to promote for all children.

I also cherish time spent with my family. I am a mum of two boys. They are both unique in their own way and they certainly keep me on my toes. They are also a daily reminder of how important my work is. Every day is a learning day and it is vital that we create an environment where children can work hard to be the best they can be.

Haley Middleton - Deputy Headteacher



I have worked at Riddlesden St Mary’s C of E Primary school since 2015. When I began at Riddlesden St Marys, I started teaching in Year 1 and I have since gone on to teach in Year 3, Year 6 and in The Hive (our Nurture Provision). 

This year, I am very excited to be taking on the role of Deputy Headteacher with the responsibility of Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Personal Development and Wellbeing. 

I absolutely love working at Riddlesden. Nurture is at the heart of everything we do and it shows- there is such a family feel.  I am very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful team of staff, children and parents.


Sophie Kyriakides - Assistant Headteacher and SEN lead  

I have worked at Riddlesden St Mary’s C of E Primary School since 2012 (when I joined the school as an NQT) originally teaching in upper key stage 2 and leading maths throughout the school. Four years ago, I took on the role of assistant headteacher with a responsibility for the curriculum and all things 'teaching and learning' based (including SEND provision).  

Within my role of leading on the curriculum and all things 'teaching and learning', I have had the privilege of being able to be a part in developing our curriculum, supporting teachers in planning and then dropping into a wide range of lessons across the whole school. I can honestly say that all children are encouraged to truly believe in themselves and aim as high as possible, the learning and level of challenge is child led and varied and there are a wide range of exciting opportunities (both within the curriculum and wider curriculum) for all children throughout the school. Within my role as assistant head teacher, I have really enjoy being able to work alongside all teaching staff throughout the school, supporting them in improving teaching and learning, to benefit all of our children. More recently, I have also taken on the role of SEND lead and become a part of the safeguarding team.

I am very proud to say I work at Riddlesden St. Mary’s C of E Primary School and hope to play a key role in helping the children to enjoy coming to school and reach their potential.  

Deborah Ash - Assistant Headteacher 

I started at Riddlesden St Mary's as an NQT in 2012 and I have worked in Early Years ever since. I have taught both Nursery and Reception over the last 10 years. I love working within Early Years as the children are so enthusiastic, inquisitive and keen to learn. You can see so much progress during a child's first few years at school. 

Since joining the leadership team as an assistant headteacher we have expanded our nursery provision and now have a 30/30 place nursery as well as our own 2 Year Old provision. 

I am very fortunate to be part of an amazing team where all members of staff work hard and support each other to ensure our children have the best experience and make huge progress from their starting points. 

This year I am taking on a new challenge, although not work related, as I will be going on maternity leave from November 2023. 


Gini Talbot 

I joined the St. Mary's team as an LSA in Reception in 2016, then trained to teach through TES Straight into Teaching to gain my QTS. Over the years I have taught in both KS1 and KS2 and have a developed a passion for computing.

Within my new role I will have a shared responsibility for the Quality of Education. My role involves focusing on our whole school curriculum offer to ensure it is transformative.

This year I am looking forward to my first year teaching in Year 1, working within an amazing team and ensuring our pupils meet their full potential.


Samir Butt

I joined Riddlesden St Mary’s in September 2017 as a Sports Coach and Heath Mentor. I have also taught in the classroom and I am now undertaking a new role as part of the leadership team.  

I will continue to take a lead on PE, School Sport and Physical Activity, as well as take on new responsibilities such as our wider curriculum offer and our staff coaching development programme.  

I take great pride in working at Riddlesden St Mary’s and being part of a team that helps our children to develop their talents and realise their potential.  

May Whitaker 

I have been part of the St. Mary’s team since 2008 as a PGCE student in Year 6. In 2009, I was lucky enough to stay and start my teaching career in Year 1. Since then, I have worked in Years 1 – 6 which has allowed me to gain an in-depth knowledge of the curriculum.  In 2019, I became a teacher Ambassador for Parliament's Education Service.  I have always had a passion for promoting leadership opportunities therefore, Pupil Parliament was formed.

This year, I have taken on the role of shared responsibility for the Quality of Education, which will allow me to utilise my years of experience in both KS1 and KS2. It is an exciting opportunity to be part of the leadership team and contribute to ensure the whole school curriculum is transformative. 

As well as being a leader, I am a Year 6 teacher. I enjoy this role as teaching is about sharing in the children’s successes and being part of their learning journey. It brings me joy when a child shows resilience during a new learning opportunity and then, has a sudden ‘light-bulb moment. These are, for me, the most special times. 

I love working at this school as it has a strong family ethos and every individual, who is a part of our school, is important and valued.