Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is set to announce Monday that he is hiring a former colleague from San Francisco to fill the newly created role of deputy chancellor of community empowerment, partnerships, and communications.

Hydra Mendoza, who was most recently a deputy chief of staff to San Francisco’s mayor, is the first official Carranza has hired from one of the school districts he previously ran.

Hydra Mendoza
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Marilyn Olivia

“Hydra is one of the staunchest allies for public school families that you’ll ever find,” Carranza said in a statement. “I saw Hydra’s innate ability to connect with students and parents firsthand during my time in San Francisco, as she galvanized neighborhoods and communities to strive towards equity for all students.”

Carranza has bristled in the past at the suggestion that he hasn’t been able to pick his own leadership team (several senior officials, including his chief of staff and a deputy chancellor of school planning and development, have close ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio). De Blasio’s first choice for the chancellor position, Alberto Carvalho, has hinted that he didn’t take the job partly because he had concerns about picking his own leadership team.

Mendoza’s salary will be $220,000.

Here’s how the education department described her previous experience:

Prior to her role as the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Education and Equity, Mendoza served as Senior Advisor for Education to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson from 2005-2011. She is a founding member and former executive director of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco, an organization focused on engaging parents and community members around key issues in public education. Mendoza has served as a pre-school teacher, acting director, and parent president of the Miraloma Cooperative Nursery School in San Francisco, where she was responsible for the operations of the school, including developing curriculum and conducting outreach. She is the first and only Filipina elected to office in San Francisco, having been elected to the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education in 2006, 2010 and 2014, where she is currently serving as President.

“I’ve spent my career empowering communities to fight for equity in education, and I cannot think of a better partner for this work than Chancellor Carranza,” Mendoza said in a statement.

“The focus must be on equity, but that cannot be achieved without building close partnerships with our students, families and communities. I’m looking forward to diving right into the work and partnering with school communities across New York City to ensure every single child is receiving the education they deserve.”