21 Jun

Introducing new faculty – Bo Mendez, Ninth Grade Math Teacher at Summit Sierra

IMG_2960While most see math and music as unrelated subjects, they have been an inseparable pair in the life and education of new Summit Sierra faculty member Bo Mendez.

“I think that all disciplines are connected in some way, but especially music and math,” Bo said. “They both involve a similar type of thinking and problem solving to create a song or solve a math equation.”

Prior to joining the Summit faculty, Bo taught Algebra II and precalculus at a high school in Federal Way. He also started and was an advisor of the school’s Rubik’s Cube and video game clubs. Bo is originally from Othello, Washington and is a graduate in music education and math from Central Washington University where he was in an acapela group. Bo, his wife and one year old daughter live in Seattle.

Bo is excited about Summit’s model of personalized learning where students work at their own pace through the curriculum. Bo’s biggest strength is building relationships with students. He finds areas where he can meet students where they are and connect and motivate them to accomplish their goals.

“I’m looking forward to mentoring students and getting to know them on a personal level,” Bo said. “I want to share my story and help build them up and send them off with the skills they will need to succeed in college. I have some really cool things planned for them next year.”

Bo had the opportunity to visit Summit Sierra and talk to the faculty and students. He said he saw a tight knit community and students that were excited to be at school.

“The teachers and faculty know the students and the students have a sense of pride about their school,” Bo said. “Some students said the curriculum is hard, but they like the challenge and are supported by faculty that is constantly giving them feedback on how to improve.”

After visiting Sierra, Bo was also excited about the student art he saw, including self portraits and the technology at the school, which gives students greater access to educational opportunities. He also appreciates the opportunities for students to explore community building, learning from guest speakers and participating in college prep workshops.

“Students can find opportunities that will have a positive impact in their lives, but they need support to see them and take advantage of them,” Bo said. “As a teacher and mentor, my job is to help guide and motivate them so they will have success in the pathway they choose.”

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