Christian Mendez


A.J. Peña, Author

Assistant Principal Christian Mendez joined the staff of Santa Fe High School in 2015. At first he was a special education teacher before becoming an assistant principal in 2022.

Mr. Mendez didn’t plan to be a teacher growing up. He actually wanted to be a state police officer, which is why he went to college for criminology. He went through the training, but before he could actually finish, he tore his ACL off duty and had to forfeit his position. 

He is happy that things ended up the way they did. He said, ¨It’s probably a good thing because police officers make the same as teachers do, but being a police officer is more dangerous.¨ He also claimed that if he hadn’t become a teacher he would have never met his wife and started the beautiful family that he has today.

Mr. Mendez is ecstatic about his new position. He started off as an assistant teacher and was later the teacher of record for the social development classroom, leading him to continue working with the special education department through the new position he has now. He loves his new position and said it’s busier than his previous job, but that’s what he likes about it. He added that it’s more independent and he enjoys that it is more of an office job. 

Mr. Mendez loves giving back to his community and feels like being an assistant principal does just that, helping students to achieve their dreams and supporting them as much as he can. He said, ¨I enjoy that it is more of a team effort. I really like the people I work with.¨ He also loves that people look up to him because of the position he is in, and given that he’s only 27, he is leading a really good life.

Mr. Mendez grew up in Santa Fe but did not go to Santa Fe High; he actually graduated from Saint Mike´s. After high school he went to three different colleges. First, he went to UNM from 2011to 2015, where he got his bachelor’s degree. He stated, ¨I went to UNM for psychology and criminology but I couldn’t really do anything with either.¨ After that he went on to get his master’s at Eastern New Mexico University. He then worked at Presbyterian Hospital as a caseworker. 

As soon as Mr. Mendez got comfortable with his job at Presbyterian, one of his old coaches from high school came to his workplace and informed everyone of a position available as a caseworker for high school students, and Mr. Mendez jumped on the offer. 

In order to work at Santa Fe High, he had to complete another year of college at Santa Fe Community College, and that got him to where he is now.

Mr. Mendez said one of his biggest challenges is his inner self. He said, ¨Outside of myself, I haven’t had many struggles, but within myself, I am always trying to accomplish too many things.¨ Mr. Mendez explained that he is always doing way more than he can handle and thinks it’s because he simply wants to provide for his family. He revealed that he gets really anxious when he hasn’t completed something. It keeps him up at night and he even dreams about it. He wants to teach himself patience and let things go when he needs to.