Melanie Mendez Middle School Fine Arts Teacher / mmendez@augprep.org

Mrs. Mendez is pleased to join the Aug Prep Middle School (MS) as a Fellow Teacher. She has worked with urban Milwaukee youth since 1995. Mrs. Mendez graduated with Honors from Alverno College (1999) with a BA in Arts Ed. and Art Therapy. She carries a dual certification in Art Education K-12 and Adaptive Art Specialist. She graduated Cum Laude with her MA in Ministry and Missional Leadership from Bethel Seminary San Diego (2018).

Mrs. Mendez began her career in education while serving the MPS Recreation Division for Exceptional Children and Adults and the Donna Lexa Community Arts Center. She learned early in her career that she loves combining creativity, service, and innovation for community problems. Mrs. Mendez expressed these together as the Art and Service Learning Specialist in the residential and day treatment school of St. Aemilian-Lakeside (2001-2008). She designed a successful school store program and a service learning curriculum to support civic engagement and court-mandated service hours. The service projects were positively featured on WISN 12, a Milwaukee billboard, TMJ4 “The Morning Blend”, City Channel 25 and international recognition.  Mrs. Mendez was honored to receive a Crystal Apple Teaching Award (2003) from her colleagues at St. Aemilian-Lakeside.

She answered the call to parochial education and transitioned to Catholic and then Lutheran schools (2008 – 2018) at St. Rafael and Pilgrim Lutheran. Since 2003 she deepened her faith through missions to her husband’s homeland, the Dominican Republic, as collaborative solutions to community problems now became a “missions” focus in the classroom. The Mendez family’s solar light project, called Luz Para Education, was supported by many in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and awarded the “Vatican II Award for Missions” (2016). It encourages solar lights for Dominican children without electricity.

Mrs. Mendez’s love of God is shaped by her Catholic roots and her membership in the Assembly of God church where she serves in girls ministry, prayer team, and the nursery. Mrs. Mendez first served our Aug Prep community through her design of faith retreats for middle school students and Aug Prep staff. She shapes retreats to meld creativity and faith. She feels blessed to work with all of the students and staff of the Aug Prep Middle School each day.

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