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Santa Ana
Unified School District
Dennis Cole, Principal
2000 North Bristol Street
Santa Ana, CA 92706

Phone: 714.972.7800
Fax: 714.972.7899

In This Photo >


Our News

  • Mendez PTSA President honored as SAUSD Intermediate Parent of the Year!

    Congratulations and a big THANK YOU to Mrs. Juanita Zambrano!

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  • 8th grades go to Court

    Mendez 8th Grader visit with Superior Court Judge Linda Marks in her chambers. Students were given a tour of various court rooms and participated in a mock trial. The group was led by Ms Salas and Mr Miraglia.

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  • NPR visits Mendez

    Listen to the interview here!

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  • Congratulations Mendez Teacher & Support Staff of the Year

    Congratulations to our 2014 Teacher of the Year, Mr. Harold Garrett and to our 2014 Certificated Support Staff of the year, Mrs. Kristan Green. Both were honored at a distict ceremony and reception.

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  • Mendez Academic Pentathlon Team Scores BIG!

    Once again, the Mendez Pentathlon Team places high. Click here to see a list of the winners and photos from the event.

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  • 2014-2015 School Year Calendar Available

    The 2014-2015 School Calendar is now available on the District website at Some key dates are as follows: The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 2, 2014, the winter break recess is December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2015 with students returning to school on Monday, January 5, 2015, and the last day of school is June 18, 2015.

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  • Mendez Selected for Business Honor Roll for School Excellence

    Congratulations to Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School and Greenville, Thorpe, and Muir fundamental elementary schools have been selected for the 2013 California Business for Education Excellence Honor Roll. These schools were selected by the business community because of their success in raising student academic achievement. After an extensive analysis of student achievement data for every public school in California, the California Business for Education Excellence selected these schools for raising their students to grade-level proficiency and beyond. The Honor Roll is published annually. Since 2005, the Honor Roll increased from 261 high performing schools to 2,099 high performing schools in 2013. Through the Honor Roll our schools will be recognized in local and state media as well as at events across the state. Each school will also receive a free, full-sized banner that can be proudly displayed to announce their accomplishment.

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  • Mendez Parent Honored

    Maria Cervantes, Diversity Partnerships Manager at the neuroscience and education nonprofit MIND Research Institute, has been named to OC Register Metro magazine’s 10 Women to Watch for 2014.

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  • Mendez Morning Fitness Club

    The Mendez morning Fitness Club did not take a break during winter vacation. On December 21st these students & staff ran from Mendez to the Angels Stadium and Honda Center. Check out the photos.

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  • Congratulations to Mendez Parent Maria Cervantes

    Mrs. Cervantes is being honored by Cosmopolitan for Latinas for making outstanding strides in her field.

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  • more

Principal's Message

Mendez Parent Organization: Mendez Mustang Supporters

Mr. Dennis Cole                               Posted on August 11, 2014

 As we look forward to an amazing school year, I want to thank you for being a Mendez Mustang Supporter. Instead of doing a school-wide fundraiser, we invite parents and organizations to donate to our education fund. All of these funds go directly to support education at Mendez.

By donating $10 to the Mendez Parent Organization fund, you are directly contributing to the outstanding programs at Mendez. It is these kinds of donations that boost our already outstanding programs, giving even more opportunities for fieldtrips, real-world learning experiences, and cutting-edge technology in the classroom. Some individuals and organizations donated amounts above and beyond the basic level, and we are creating a special web-page and a donors' wall to recognize these Mendez Mustang Champions.

In the 2014-2015 school year, I am so excited to see parents coming along side the school to support the work we do for their children. As always, we cannot teach and learn alone. It takes a community committed to the care of children - one which hopes in the future and creates a strong vision for education. You are those individuals, and I thank you for your generous support.


Dennis Cole, Principal


Mendez Family

Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez
Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez


        GONZALO AND FELICITAS MENDEZ were like so many other Mexican American families living in California in the 1940’s. Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez faced discrimination at all levels of society. After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 ceded California and the Southwest to the United States, Mexican American families saw little hope of achieving equality with their Anglo counterparts. Mr. and Mrs. Mendez were hurt by the discrimination they encountered on a daily basis. But it hurt them even more when they saw their children become victims of this discrimination. After one hundred years of California’s Mexican American children being relegated to an inferior education, Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez decided to do something about it.
       Gonzalo was a tenant farmer living in the Westminster area of Southern California. Mendez and his wife, Felicitas, decided that neither they nor their children were going to be treated as second class citizens. In early 1945, they organized a group of parents to take on the Orange County School and stop its practice of keeping Mexican American children segregated from Anglo children. While Anglo children attended academically oriented classes in modern buildings using new books, Mexican American children attend vocationally oriented classes in old buildings using inferior books.

        Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez knew that a legal fight against awell entrenched segregationist educational system was going to be tough. This did not stop them. A civil rights attorney was hired andthe lawsuit was filed in the federal courts in Los Angeles. The lawsuit named five Mexican American families, including the Mendez family as plaintiffs.The lawsuit, entitled Mendez V. Westminster, asked the court to issue an injunction ordering the integration of the school district.The lawsuit argued that segregation based on national origin violated the United States Constitution. The case was won but the district appealed. On April 14, 1947, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Mexican American families.

        Eight years after Mendez V. Westminster, the then future Justice of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, argued the famous case of Brown V. Board of Education. The Brown case outlawed the “separate but equal” education throughout the United States. In arguing his case, Marshall relied on Mendez V. Westminster as legal precedent.

        Because of their bravery and dedication, Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez opened the door for a better education not only for children in California, but for children throughout the United States. Their efforts have been recently recognized and honored by groups like the Los Angeles Mexican American Bar Association.

        On December 3, 1997, the Santa Ana School Board, the same school district that once practiced segregation, dedicated the Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School. Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School is a school of choice. All students have the opportunity to receive a quality and enriched curriculum, regardless of the language they speak or the color of their skin.
For More information check the School Pride section under Our School.