Educators play a crucial role in shaping the future of our society, and one such dedicated and influential educator is Principal Mauro Bautista of Mendez High School in Boyle Heights. He has been principal of the school for over a decade and has been with the school in different capacities since its opening in 2009. His educational journey began at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he pursued undergraduate studies where he double majored in History and Chicana/o Studies and an education minor. During his time at UCLA, he minored in education and took various courses related to education. Courses, such as “Mexican Americans in the Schools” and “Education and the Law” helped him find his calling in the field of education. 

Mauro’s career began in the early 2000s when he started his career at Hollenbeck Middle School, and his journey with Partnership for Los Angeles Schools began in 2007 when the Partnership was building relationships with local schools. His experience as a coordinator at Hollenbeck Middle School exposed him to the Partnership’s vision for providing additional resources and flexibility to schools in Boyle Heights, South LA, and Watts. Hollenbeck Middle School became a Partnership School in 2008-2009, and Mauro continued his work with the Partnership throughout his career.

Mauro’s background and experiences led him to become deeply connected to the Boyle Heights community. He understands the importance of supporting students from diverse backgrounds, and his personal history as an immigrant from Mexico who settled in Boyle Heights at a young age provides a unique perspective that drives his commitment to education.

His leadership reflects a clear vision of providing students with a well-rounded and holistic high school experience. “Our vision for our students is that they come to Mendez High School and have a great high school experience. We aim to prepare them academically and encourage them to pursue higher education. Additionally, we provide various programs and clubs to help students connect with their peers and the school. We hope that when students leave Mendez High School, they are prepared for their next stage in life, whether it’s a four-year college, community college, trade school, or entering the workforce.” By fostering an environment of diverse programs and clubs, he encourages students to connect with their school and peers, leading to a richer high school experience.

Under Mauro’s leadership, Mendez High School has a strong focus on preparing students for their post-high school journey. Whether it’s pursuing a four-year college, a community college, a trade school, or entering the workforce, the school ensures that students leave with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen path. The comprehensive approach aims to create well-rounded, confident individuals.

Mauro appreciates the support of the Partnership both at Hollenbeck and now at Mendez. In addition to implementing supports that helped increase student achievement, the Partnership also influences policy changes and secures funding for schools, demonstrating its commitment to its mission. For these reasons, he hopes Partnership can continue its valuable work for years to come.