This biennial award honors a faculty or staff member who has shown extraordinary dedication to the school and to the students, and has taught or worked at Country School for at least 10 years. This year’s recipient has said, “I came to pursue my dream of starting a family in a community where I could feel happy and safe, and where my children could grow up pursuing their achievements and dreams.” Yes, I am honored tonight to present the O’Herron award to Carlos Mendoza.
Carlos came to Country School in 1991 as a member of the cafeteria staff. After 11 years in the cafeteria, he joined the facilities team in 2002. Everyone was delighted to know that the person they saw at lunchtime every day would now be in the driveway at arrival or in their office or classroom replacing a battery in a clock or refreshing a wall with a new coat of paint. Just as we do, we knew we had a gem in Carlos and wanted to find the best for him. From that time until now, he has continued to embody a strong sense of purpose and a love for working with people.
Through his strong sense of putting others first, he has built lasting relationships with teachers, staff members, students and families. In his nearly 30 years here, Carlos has always stepped in when needed. Our staff was shorthanded several times last year, and Carlos stepped up every time. In the spring and summer, as we were transitioning facilities supervisors, it was Carlos who took a lead in making sure that we did not miss a beat. And even more than that, under his leadership and that of the whole team, this past spring and summer’s events went as smoothly as ever before.
He genuinely enjoys working in a capacity that supports other people and the institution. As a result, he embodies the spirit and culture of NCCS. For Carlos, Country School is synonymous with family. His wife, Tatiana, has also worked here - for 13 years, beginning in our archives in 2006 and transitioning to a family and program coordinator role with Horizons from 2007 until last year. Their son Mateo, in 5th grade, has been an NCCS student since kindergarten, and we all hope that Valentina will soon join her big brother here.
Carlos’ work brings to mind words such as; dedication, reliability, caring, excellence and supportive. One cannot underestimate the value that someone with this type of character and work ethic brings to the school. He is a proud and committed member of the NCCS community who models everything we stand for and believe.