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Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez
Fundamental Intermediate School
Santa Ana Unified School District
Mendez Bldg

School Pride Campaign

History of Name


Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez were tenant farmers living in Westminster, CA. In 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 attended vocationally-oriented classes in old buildings using inferior books. A civil rights attorney was hired and the lawsuit, Mendez V. Westminster, was filed in the federal courts in Los Angeles. The lawsuit argued that segregation based on national origin violated the U. S. 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 later, the future Justice of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, argued the famous case of Brown V. Board of Education, which outlawed the “separate but equal” education throughout the United States. In arguing his case, Marshall relied on Mendez V. Westminster as legal precedent.


On December 8, 1997, the Santa Ana School Board dedicated the Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez Intermediate Fundamental School. 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 recognized and honored nationally. Mendez V. Westminster School District et al. was commemorated in 2007 on a U. S. postage stamp to honor its 60th anniversary.  In 2011, Sylvia Mendez, their daughter, was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barak Obama.  (Click Here for more information)


Date Built and/or Occupied


Groundbreaking: Wednesday, December 8, 1997

Occupied: 2000

First Principal:  Lucinda (Clear) Pueblos

First Asst. Principals:  Dawn Miller, Victoria Groskreutz


School Mascot

Mendez Mustang  -  Strong, Spirited, Free!   Pioneers of the Millennium.                mustang

Famous People Who Have Attended

 Cassandra Cabrera (Class of 2002) - First Mendez student to return as a Mendez Teacher




Principal's Message

Mendez Parent Organization: Mendez Mustang Supporters

Mr. Dennis Cole                             

 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 2015-2016 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


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