Do You Know about Mr. Mendez?


By Damaris Ramos, Staff Writer

   Mr. Mendez is a creative, kind, respectful, and wonderful teacher.  

Teaching Life 

    He always feels that students learn best by doing. Mr. Mendez always thinks about methods to make his lessons more impactful. One lesson that was from his second to third year of teaching was on fossils. “I gave my students a hands-on lab. I had them use plaster-of-paris to create a cast and mold of shells.” It served as an easy way to introduce the unit on evolution, as well as a “make and take” for his students.  

    When Mr. Mendez was a student in high school and when he first started college, teaching was not on the top of his list of potential careers. At MHS, he was interested in computers, web design and video game development. He went through a few majors before deciding to major in education.  

   As for why he decided on becoming a teacher, it is mostly due to the advice his mom provided. She always would say that education is the most noble career in the world. He always appreciated not just the content taught by his former teachers at MHS but also the life lessons they instilled. He hopes to live up to their models. 

    Mr. Mendez started his teaching career in 2010 as an interim teacher, which is a temporary position covering for a teacher who is on extended leave. As for teaching at MHS, he began as the science coach during the 2016-2017 school year. After that year, he requested to be back in the classroom and be the co-teacher for students with special needs in biology. He said, “Since I started teaching, the motivation that inspires me most is when the students make the connection and understand what was taught. When the student gets that A – Ha! It truly is a great feeling of satisfaction, almost like a switch flipped to the ON position.”  

   Mr. Mendez’s very first day at Miami Senior High School was August of the year 2000 as a freshman. He recalls getting lost trying to find the band room, which during that time, was located where the art classrooms are located today. He remembers asking teachers where classrooms were and rushing to make it before the 5-minute bell rang.  

   His first day as a teacher at Miami High was not as hectic, mostly because he knew where most places were. He spent it doing first day orientations/routines along with his biology co-teacher. 

Mr. Mendez teaching his six period class which their favorite word is protein

About Himself 

    After high school he attended Miami Dade College and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education. He then attended Florida International University and earned a Master’s degree in Special Education. He said, “I’m certified in Exceptional Student Education (K-12), Biology (6-12), Earth Space Science (6-12), and have ESOL and gifted teaching endorsements.”  

    Some things that Mr. Mendez has accomplished and is proud of include: 

  1. Completing his graduate degree; 2. Being nominated Science Teacher of the Year; and 3. Visiting a country outside of the US.

    Mr. Mendez had a great childhood thanks to the love he received from his mother and father. “To be honest, when I was younger and throughout my life, I was overweight and picked on by my peers for being fat. My parents would always support me by giving me great advice and care. Unfortunately, it isn’t until later on in life that you can really appreciate the words of wisdom,” he said. 

Life Outside of School 

   Mr. Mendez’s birthday is on June 4, and he was born and raised in Miami. His hobbies include working on his car and watching television shows. One of Mr. Mendez’s hidden talents is that when he had the time, he would create websites. He learned basic HTML coding when he was a student at Miami High. Over the years he learned more advanced coding languages and programs like Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop. 

   One thing students may be surprised to find out about him is that he enjoys watching Japanese anime. His absolute favorites are Naruto, Full Metal Alchemist, and Bleach 

    Mr. Mendez has many places he wants to visit. “Truth be told, I’ve only enjoyed a handful of vacations where I’ve been able to travel,” he said. “I would love to visit Tokyo, Japan; London, England; and the pyramids in Egypt.”  

    During his free time, he mostly spends it with friends and family. He normally plays video games as well. Some of his favorite games include the Final Fantasy series, Resident Evil, God of War. He also enjoys playing Apex Legends which is an online first-person shooter game (FPS).  

   At the start of 2023 he had written down a few New Year’s Resolutions. Chief among them, he wanted to lose a considerable amount of weight. “Keeping steady exercise and diet is key when trying to lose weight,” he said. “Starting is the easy part but maintaining that regimen is the difficult part.” 

Favorite things 

    Choosing just one favorite song is a tall order. However, if Mr. Mendez had to choose, he would say anything by the Weekend, songs like “Heartless,” “Kissland,” ‘‘False Alarm,” and “Hurricane.” His favorite food is Stuffed Chicken Marsala from Olive Garden. It is a pan-seared chicken breast fillet with a cheese filling, covered in a marsala with mushroom sauce and served with mashed potatoes. 

     As he mentioned earlier, he enjoys watching anime, and his current favorite anime show is Naruto Shippuden, which has a lot of episodes, “many of which are filler, but when there are no filler episodes it is some of the most action-packed display of animated goodness,” he said. Other great TV shows are Rick and Morty and Game of Thrones 

    Growing up he can honestly say he had many good teachers and, like all things, some not so good. Some of the good ones that immediately come to mind include his English 4 teacher, Ms. Puig, who really had a smile on her face each and every class. She inspired her students to always try and do better.  

   Another great inspiration was Ms. Moore, his high school chemistry teacher. On the first day of class, she broke apart the world chemistry into “chem-is-try” insinuating that in her class you learn by doing. Ms. Rainelli was his web design teacher, and she is the reason he started coding websites.  

    Mr. Mendez’s favorite memory was when he was very young, around 4 or 5 years old, on Christmas morning. He remembers the night before there were no gifts underneath the Christmas tree, and the next day, there was an overwhelming number of gifts that Santa delivered.  

    That is not the reason it is favorite memory alone. He remembers his mom and dad being there drinking café con leche as his sister and he tore into the gifts. It is his favorite memory because he misses his father, and looking back, he appreciates the time and sacrifices his parents made simply to see a smile on their kids’ faces.



Things that you might now know about Mr. Mendez 


  • MHS Class of 2004 alumnus Mr. Mendez is grateful and honored to be able to work at the oldest school in Miami Dade County and his alma mater.  


  • Mr. Mendez was in marching band for a short time during his freshman year and played trumpet. 


  • Freshman year was tough for Mr. Mendez.  It takes a very long time to bring your GPA back up. He wanted to join one of the big clubs (Interact) but his GPA threw a wrench into that. He was part of the Computer Club and Senior Board. 


  • Mr. Mendez is the Second Vice-President of the Dade County Science Teachers Association (DCSTA). 


  • Mr. Mendez has one sister from his mom and also has four half-brothers and six half-sisters from his father’s first marriage. Some have passed away and the others are scattered everywhere. 


  • Mr. Mendez is a BMW fanboy, although due to the recklessness of a Miami driver, he is currently driving a Honda Accord.