When you mention second-grade teacher Marvin Mendoza at Whittier Elementary School, you are instantly greeted with a warm smile and enthusiastic welcome. The teacher with perfect attendance during his 13 years of teaching is more than just a familiar name on campus, he’s the heartbeat on campus and the Sterling McCall VIP Services January Teacher of the Month.
“When I hired Mr. Mendoza almost 13 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined him unfolding into the remarkable employee he is today,” Principal Lorrie Lueptow said. “Mr. Mendoza is everything principals desire in a teacher and in leadership. He not only focuses on the success of his students, but he takes pride in nurturing his peers.”
There’s more to what just meets the eye when you encounter Mendoza, a proud HISD alum who attended Jackson Middle School and Austin High School. The first-generation immigrant’s demeanor appears calm, but it’s the burning fire on the inside that has ensured he has never missed a day.
“I’ve been at Whittier during my entire teaching career, and everyone there is my family,” Mendoza said. “And for me, it’s important to remain accountable to your family. It’s my responsibility to be dependable for my students and their families.”
For the next 30 days, Mendoza’s students and peers will enjoy him trading in the vehicle that he’s driven since starting at Whittier 13years ago, for a 2018 Toyota Camry courtesy of Sterling McCall Toyota.
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“I’m very appreciative to have received today’s recognition,” Mendoza added. “It’s as if I don’t deserve this recognition, because I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”
“He’s more than just a teacher, he’s the fabric of this community,” Principal Lueptow said. “He’s the reason students return five to 10 years later just to stop and say ‘hello’. We are fortunate to have Mr. Mendoza at Whittier Elementary.
As part of the Teacher of the Month program, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza will surprise a teacher along with a rep from Sterling McCall VIP Services. Each month, the teacher will be presented with an award, a gift basket of promotional items, a $150 gift card, and a luxury loaner vehicle.
Each of the seven HISD Area Superintendents will be responsible for selecting a teacher from their region to be honored from Nov 2017 to May 2018. Principals who would like to nominate a teacher on their campus should contact their School Support Officer of Area Superintendent directly.