Teacher Spotlight: Jamie Mendoza

Junior High reading teacher, Jamie Mendoza

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Junior High reading teacher, Jamie Mendoza

Sayler Beerwinkle, Editor

Jamie Mendoza is one of the junior high teachers. She teaches reading. Mrs. Mendoza was born and raised in Dimmitt, where she graduated from Dimmitt High School in 1991. She is married to Frank Mendoza and they have two daughters, Reagan and Brenna. Reagan is currently living in Colorado, while Brenna is completing her nursing certification in Lubbock.  She also has four dogs, three chi-jacks (chihuahua and Jack Russell Terriers), and one rescue dog.  Mrs. Mendoza enjoys reading, social media, hanging out with family, baking, singing, and encouraging others.

To Mrs. Mendoza, reading didn’t come easy for her at the beginning. 

“Every first day of school I always share my ‘testimony’ of evolving into a reader with my classes,” Mendoza said. “When I was a 2nd and 3rd grader, reading didn’t come naturally to me, I definitely struggled.” 

It wasn’t until the end of 3rd grade when she became a better reader. 

“I can vividly remember sitting at the reading table with my teacher and classmates while we read aloud,” Mendoza stated. “As it was my turn and I would struggle to sound out the words, my friends would become annoyed at how slow I was, and I would blurt out whatever word I was on.” 

A teacher then worked with her one-on-one and she excelled from that point, and found her love for reading. 

“It was at that time that I gained self-confidence by working with a teacher who knew my struggle,” Mendoza said. “Today, reading is my escape.” 

At first, she did not plan to be a reading teacher.  

“My initial plan was to save the world through CPS, one child at a time,” Mendoza said. “However, I quickly discovered that my heart couldn’t handle all the red tape and absurd amount of time required to do what was in the best interest of the children.” 

When her daughters were in school, Mrs. Mendoza would volunteer in their classrooms.  

“It was then that I decided to enter the ‘iTeachTX’ program and earn my teaching certificate,” Mendoza said. “I began my teaching career in Olton, teaching 2nd and 3rd grade social studies and reading.” 

In 2013, she came ‘home’ to Springlake-Earth and began teaching 5th, 6th, and 7th grade reading. 

“When Dr. Crum brought me in to offer me the position, it wasn’t the 4th grade job as I was expecting, it was JUNIOR HIGH!” Mendoza mentioned. “I remember basically begging him not to put me in junior high, when I said, ‘I am afraid of junior high kids!’.”  

Dr. Denver Crum got a laugh out of Mrs. Mendoza’s response, but felt that was where she needed to be.  

“He leaned across his desk and told me that he felt like God needed me in junior high,” Mendoza proclaimed. “If God needs me there, then by golly, I can do this!”  

Three years ago, she moved back down to 2nd grade where she was able to work with Jill Winders.  

“We had a lot of fun, and I learned many things about myself,” Mendoza said. “One of which is that I really do enjoy junior high.” 

She likes seeing students have light-bulb moments in the classroom. 

“I enjoy seeing the learning and ‘a-ha’ moments of middle schoolers,” Mendoza added. “They are a little more animated about than 2nd graders.”  

8th grader, Alexis Anchondo, moved to S-E last year, and enjoyed being taught by her.

“I liked having her as a teacher, because she truly cared,” Anchondo said. “She really cared about me and the rest of my classmates.”

Mrs. Mendoza could see herself doing a few other things if she wasn’t teaching.  

“The only other thing I could see myself being is an event planner or Director of Chamber of Commerce,” Mendoza said. “I enjoy being around people and working on projects for the greater good.”