Educator of the week

Mauro Bautista 
Mendez High School

Los Angeles Unified School District

Favorite Subjects: History and Chicano Studies

A proud member of the Boyle Heights community, Mr. Mauro Bautista has a genuine affinity and passion for his community and the many stakeholders that he serves on a daily basis. Currently in his second year as Principal of Mendez High School, Mr. Bautista is at the helm of a growing student population. In a relatively short time, has increased his school's community partnerships and continued the excellence set by his predecessors as they continue to garner recognition as a top performing high school.

At a young age, Mr. Bautista developed an inspiration and set a goal for himself, to someday encourage and motivate young people the way his teachers did for him during his teenage years. He recalls all of the great encouragement that he received from his AP History teacher, Mr. Jimenez, during his junior year of high school. Mr. Bautista gives him enormous credit for igniting an excitement and interest in history. Enough so, that it would lead him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the subject. He states that he will never forget, "how encouraging and inspiring" Mr. Jimenez was to all of his students. Mr. Bautista also gives credit to another teacher who was an instrumental figure throughout his academic journey. Mr. Bennett, an AP Government and Academic Decathlon coach, was a great leader who motivated and provided him and his teammates the courage to not allow their day-to-day obstacles to hinder their own personal goals, dreams and aspirations. 

Raised in Los Angeles, Mr. Bautista is very proud of his upbringing. He takes ownership of the fact that he is from an immigrant family that migrated to the United States in the early 80's. He started his educational path as an undocumented student in the community of Boyle Heights and acknowledges that he is blessed to be able to work and reside in the community that he currently serves. As a young, energized and eager graduate of UCLA's Teach Education program, Mr. Bautista began teaching Social Studies to 6th graders and ESL to 6th - 8th graders in 2000. He enjoyed a fruitful experience there for ten years before moving on to Mendez High School in 2010 as one of the campus' Assistant Principals. After serving one year under that role, he transitioned over to the roll of Principal for the campus' since debunked, Math and Science school. But, with the changes in structure at the school they have since reconfigured the campus into one sole high school and in the Fall of 2013 he became the Principal for the entire school. To this day, he shares credit of the school's success to his entire staff. Everyone from Maria in the Welcome Center to those that volunteer their time in the school's community center.

His personal academic journey took him from humble beginnings in East Los Angeles to one of the most prestigious public schools in the country - UCLA. Mr. Bautista is a recipient of the famed Mathematics  pipeline at James Garfield High School, that gained national attention through Mr. Jaime Escalante's teachings and methods. He earned his bachelor's degree in history and chicano studies and not only finished his undergraduate degree as a Bruin but also received multiple master's degrees, teaching credential and an administrator's credential − it is safe to state that he is as much a Bruin as one can be!      

Through his involvement with the STEM-Up™ initiative, Mr. Bautista has been a champion of STEM since the initiative's inception in 2009 while working as an English Language Learners Coordinator at Hollenbeck Middle School. His goal is to expose all of his students to STEM opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to experience. He is passionate about working with youth that come from similar backgrounds - low-income, underserved, working-class families - just like him and inspire them to pursue STEM college and career pathways to "fill the need" that will exist in the near future throughout the country. 

During his spare time, Mr. Bautista enjoys spending quality time with his family. The father of 2 teenage boys and 2 young daughters, they all attend public schools within Boyle Heights. He shares that with his busy schedule as a Principal, time with his family is sometimes few and far between. We congratulate Mr. Bautista on all of his personal and educational achievements!

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