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  • Writer's picturePaige Bannister

Mayfair's Student Board Member

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

Serving as our first ever student district board member, Christopher Mendoza starts his day at 6:20 before heading to school. He has AP classes in Economics, Literature, Government, and Chemistry. However, he’s also taking Environmental Science, Statistics, Spanish 2, and Maker Space. During his breaks at school, he checks in with whoever he needs, gains essential input, and makes some calls. When he gets home, he spends time outdoors gardening and charging his solar battery charger. He then does some light reading unrelated to school, homework, and any independent studying he can get done. He spends a lot of time listening to podcasts and afterward, he stays up a little later to work on independent projects.

On the matters of his position, he has many plans he wishes to put in place. Short-term plans he hopes to work on include: strengthening and expanding our current science curriculum, pushing for performing arts as an option for P.E. credits, menstrual products for the girl’s bathrooms, and diversifying our electives so that options aren’t dependent on limited to where in the district students live. Additionally, one of his long-term goals is to help better communication between the district and our community.

Having a packed schedule like his requires extreme discipline and amazing time management. His organization includes trying to blend as much time as he can, his recreational time becomes his research. Continuing involvement while also getting free time on his end is talking about things he cares about with the district, which is very relaxing to him. An example of this is when he met with Daniel Buffington, head of the maintenance department, and he questioned him about renewable energy on campus in the form of solar energy. Additionally, facilitating student and community input is extremely important to him as he tries to optimize this most by using all of his social media platforms and consulting other student board members and student leaders from campuses across the state. Moreover, he tries to go to every community event he can. Although they get repetitive, he claims “Every time I go I get to make a new connection and hear a new story about a subject I didn’t know needed fixing.

Unexpected struggles he’s come to terms with so far are reading the budget and trying to comprehend the different opinions he’s heard on how to spend it, the existential threat of statewide enrollment decline throughout the state that doesn’t seem possible for BUSD alone to fix, and additionally trying to articulate to the community that certain things are out of district hands. However, when he’s not working, he can usually be found relaxing by reading in the library or taking long walks around the area.

Currently, Chris wants to pursue a career in Environmental Policy and Planning, as he’s always had a soft spot for local government and informs that “Change starts from the bottom-- it’s a bottom-up process.” He’s also considering Environmental Justice and Sustainability, he states, “I want the next generation of kids and high school students to not have to worry about the environment because if I didn’t I would be going all in with Chemistry, or Robotics. So because our generation faces this threat, it’s the reason why I’m interested in helping with the climate.” In that vein, he’s considering UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Davis because of their respective paths in Plant Biology and Genetics, Material Science, and Environmental Policy and Planning.

Christopher genuinely and deeply cares for this school and our community, throughout the interview his passion for his position was made abundantly clear. I believe all of the district should feel immense pride in having Christopher Mendoza as our student board member.

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