TEP Alum Profile: Mauro Bautista

UCLA Ed & IS News

UCLA Ed&IS alumnus Mauro Bautista, who received his teacher and principal training at UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, serves as Principal for Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School — a community school located in East Los Angeles.

Community schools are designed to empower students and their families by encouraging them to be deeply involved with every part of their school. Collaboration is key to success and shared leadership among the school community helps students come to power over their future despite being from a disadvantaged background. Bautista described recruiting and retaining quality teachers as “one of the highest leverage points for the success of our school.” He received his teacher and principal training at the UCLA School of Education, which focuses on preparing social justice educators to teach in an urban setting.

Bautista invites candidates from the UCLA Teacher Education Program (TEP) program to observe classes and do their student teaching at Mendez and often makes job offers to promising candidates before they have finished their preparation.

Mendez High School’s equity-focused practices have made possible an impressive shift in the academic outcomes of students in Boyle Heights. From making computer science education initiatives to equipping students with necessary furniture and online textbook subscriptions during the pandemic, everything Mendez does is rooted in treating the community like family and acknowledging that relationships undergird every aspect of education.