Biography

Hydra Mendoza is a strong advocate and supporter of public education. She is a product of public schools, a parent of two children in public schools, a former preschool teacher and an education advisor.

Hydra has been a co-chair of her children’s school site council, Vice-President of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and an active classroom volunteer. Hydra’s experience as an education advisor, has given her the opportunity to serve as a community member and parent on key policy changing committees for the San Francisco Unified School District, which includes Weighted Student Formula, Student Assignment Task Force, and the Public Education Leadership Project, which is an innovative joint effort of the Harvard School of Business and Graduate School of Education.

Hydra is the former Executive Director and a founding member of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco, a national organization who engages parents and community members to support, promote and improve public education. Under her leadership, Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco successfully moved towards greater reform in parent involvement, recruitment and enrollment, student health and nutrition, school site council’s, and language immersion programs.

For the past 10 years, Hydra’s work in education has afforded her the knowledge to intimately understand the inter-workings of public schools and how they can best serve our children. In 2005, Hydra was appointed as Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Education Advisor and Liaison to the San Francisco Unified School District. Hydra’s work allows her to build a strong partnership between the School District and the City. Hydra has served as vice-chair of the mandatory school bond oversight committee, which oversees the District’s capital improvement projects. She served on the steering committee for the successful passage of Proposition A (2003), a $295 million facilities bond and Proposition H (2004), which brings additional support to our students for art, music, sports, librarians and universal preschool.

Hydra has been invited to speak on key educational policies ranging from parent engagement to school governance on panels for State and National organizations and school institutions such as the California Council of Parent Participatory Nursery Schools, Teach for America, San Francisco State University, Senator John Burton’s staff and Hawaii Unified School District. In 2005, she was honored with the Parent of the Year Award from the California Association for Bilingual Education.

Hydra is married to Dr. Ricardo Alvarez, a family practice physician who has a non-profit HIV/AIDS clinic in San Francisco’s Mission District. They live in the Bernal Heights neighborhood with their two children, Ashoka and Santiago.

*The use of the Parent for Public Schools name is for affiliation purposes only and does not express or imply
an endorsement of my candidacy for the San Francisco Board of Education.

Affiliations

2003 Citizen Bond Oversight Committee – Former Vice-Chair
California Association for Bilingual Education Parent of the Year Award recipient
City Fields Foundation – Committee Member
Committee to Pass Prop A 2003 – Steering committee member
Committee to Pass Prop H – Steering committee member
Exploratorium – Advisory Council Member
Fairmount Elementary School PTA – Former VP of Outreach and Marketing
Fairmount Elementary School Site Council – Former Co-Chair
Graduate of George Washington High School
Japanese Community Youth Council – Former Board Member
Jewish Philanthropic Federation – Board Member
June Jordan Mentoring Youth in Community Action Program – Mentor
Mayor’s Education Advisor – Liaison to the School District
Mayor’s Policy Council on Children, Youth and Their Families – Member
Miraloma Cooperative Nursery School – Former Board President
Parents for Public Schools National – Board Member
Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco – Former Executive Director
PPS Language Immersion Task Force – Former Chair and member
Public Education Leadership Project (Harvard) – San Francisco Team Member
San Francisco Foundation Education Program Officer hiring committee member
San Francisco School Alliance – Board Member
SFUSD Task Force or Committees:

  • Weighted Student Formula
  • Student Assignment
  • Hardship Appeals (co-chair)
  • Arts Education Master Plan
  • Prop H Committee

Superintendent Parent Roundtable member