Week Three | Faculty and Student Voices | Hispanic Heritage Month

At The Northwest School, we value the diversity of all our students, faculty, staff, and families. We recognize and appreciate the many ways that Hispanic Americans have enriched our school with their talents, creativity, and passion. We also acknowledge the challenges and struggles many Hispanic Americans have faced and continue to face in our society.

During this month, we invite you to learn more about Hispanic heritage and culture. Here you can explore the stories and achievements of inspiring Hispanic Americans and members of our community. We hope this month will inspire you to celebrate our school's and nation's diversity and appreciate our differences, beauty, and strength.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! ¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana!

Carlos Pedraza (Faculty)

by Aviva Lyss-Loren (2025)

Carlos Pedraza is the Content Operations Specialist at Northwest. He used to manage social media, but now he handles our websites and helps our community better take advantage of the information they contain.

Carlos was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He moved to the Bay Area when he was a year old and later moved to Southern California and Denver. His education is in writing and film production, and since 2021 has been using his skills to help the NWS community. He shared that one of his favorite things about working here is how much creativity he can express in his job. When asked about his most meaningful experiences at this school, he shared that it was co-leading a workshop during last year’s first Day of Learning. The workshop built on a previous Day of Learning and showed the stories of students of color at NWS, the existing barriers, and how to fix our frameworks to make change. He found this experience meaningful because of its ability to educate and build bridges within our community.

Sylvia Mendez

By Annette Galindo (Faculty)

Seven years before 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling integrated America’s schools, a young California girl’s family fought for her to attend an “all-white” school. Sylvia Mendez was a small girl when she tried registering to attend school in Westminster, California.

The school’s superintendent testified that those of Mexican descent were “intellectually, culturally, and morally inferior to European Americans.” Sylvia Mendez’ parents, Gonzalo and Felicitas, would have none of it. They united with other local Chicano families and hired a lawyer. They won their case, and in 1946, California schools became integrated by law.