Get To Know Hydra

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A Lifetime Of Achievement

Hydra Mendoza currently serves as a Commissioner on the Board of Education and the Mayor’s Senior Advisor on Education and Family Services.  In her first two terms as a school board member, Hydra has championed improving academic standards in our schools, implemented policies that have increased parent engagement, and brought technology into the classroom.  She has built critical coalitions and collaborations between community and education leaders to advance our students.

Leadership for Our Schools

PopularHydra has worked on public education issues in San Francisco for over 20 years.  She is the former Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools, a national organization that engages various stakeholders to support, promote and improve public education.  Under her leadership, Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco successfully moved towards greater reform for parent involvement, recruitment of teachers, improvements to student health and nutrition, expansion of school site councils, and the establishment of language immersion programs.

As a graduate of SFUSD and a parent whose kids attended SFUSD schools, Hydra has taken many volunteer leadership positions to improve San Francisco’s schools.  Hydra has been a co-chair of her children's school site council (SSC), Vice-President of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and an active classroom volunteer.   She has also previously served as Vice-Chair of the mandatory school bond oversight committee, which oversees the District's capital improvement projects, and served as a community member on several committees for the San Francisco Unified School District including: Weighted Student Formula, Student Assignment Task Force, and the Harvard Public Education Leadership Project.

BabyIn addition to these roles, Hydra has been very active in various electoral efforts to strengthen and improve our public schools in San Francisco.  She served on every steering committee or as Co-Chair for the successful passage of three facilities bonds (Proposition A - 2003, 2006 and 2011), for $295, $450 and $531 million; Public Education Enrichment Fund (Proposition H - 2004), which brings additional support to our students for art, music, sports, librarians and universal preschool, and our Quality Teacher Act (Proposition A - 2008) which increases teacher salaries, provides incentives for schools and funds technology in our schools.  Though running for re-election, Hydra still serves on the steering committee for Proposition C to reauthorization of the Children’s Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund.

Election to the Board of Education

In 2006, Hydra successfully won a citywide bid for a seat on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education.  She is the first, and only, Filipina elected to public office in San Francisco.  Hydra was re-elected to the Board in 2010 finishing first with over 100,000 votes citywide.

Hydra has previously served as President and Vice – President of the board where she was unanimously voted in. She has served as Chairwoman for Budget, Rules, Curriculum and Buildings and Grounds Committees.  A major success of her second term in office was sheparding the partnership between the Mayor, SFUSD and Salesforce.com Foundation resulting in a $2.7 million donation that improves Science Technology Arts Engineering and Math (STEAM) opportunities through coding and technology tools such as iPads and Chrome Books for our middle grade students in the City. 

Educational Policy Expertise

PopularHydra has been invited to speak on key educational policies ranging from parent engagement to school governance on panels for state and national organizations and school institutions such as the California Council of Parent Participatory Nursery Schools, Teach for America, San Francisco State University, U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and Goldman School of Business. 

In 2005, she was honored with the Parent of the Year Award from the California Association for Bilingual Education, received the 2008 Public Service Award by the Public Administration Graduate Program at San Francisco State University and was recently added to the list of 100 Most Influential Filipina Women Nationally in the Policymaker and Visionary category in 2009 and Globally in 2013.  She serves on several local and national non-profit boards.  Adding to her long list of recognitions, Hydra was awarded the Access and Equity Community Education Award in 2011 by Pin@y Educational Partnerships, the College Track – Hero Award in 2013, and the Extraordinary Service Award by the Mission Economic Development Agency in 2013.

Hydra resides in the Bayview neighborhood with her husband, Eric McDonnell who serves as the Chief Operating Officer for United Way Bay Area and her two children, Ashoka a Sophomore at Suffolk University in Madrid, Spain and Santiago a Junior at Lowell High School.


Paid for by Hydra Mendoza for School Board, 2010 • 3 Embarcadero Center, Suite 420, San Francisco, CA 94111 • info@hydramendoza.com