The purpose of the Special Education program at Benavidez Elementary is to minimize the impact of a student's disability while maximizing opportunities for the student to fully participate in his or her natural environment.
A student suspected of having a disability is referred for an evaluation by a team of specialists. This multi-disciplinary team, which may consist of an educational diagnostician, school psychologist, speech and language pathologist, and other specialists, conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the student to determine eligibility for special education and related services.
Eligible students with disabilities receive specialized instruction in the least restrictive environment with typically developing age level peers for the maximum extent of their day, as appropriate. Related services such as assistive technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, music therapy, counseling as a related service, and speech and language therapy are provided for eligible students to access grade level curriculum, and to participate in their specifically designed educational program.
The SPED Department and all teachers at Benavidez are committed to the success of all students, regardless of disability.
Teachers & Staff
SpEd Chair & Resource/Inclusion
Osias Mendoza has been a professional educator for nearly three decades, the last 14 years in HISD. He has served as a classroom teacher and filled department chairman positions in multiple disciplines. Before HISD, Mr. Mendoza taught in Los Fresnos, Texas and in the Philippines. Mr. Mendoza earned a double degree in Elementary and Secondary Education graduating Cum Laude from St. Michael's College in 1990. He also completed the academic requirements of a Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision in 1995, and later graduated with a Master of Education in TESOL from Grand Canyon University in 2013. As a veteran teacher, Mr. Mendoza's work has earned him recognition at the school, district and regional level. For his work in ESL, he was recognized as both the Houston Area Association of Bilingual Education (HAABE) ESL Teacher of the Year and the Houston ISD ESL Teacher of the Year in 2015. He also received the Most Outstanding Asian-American Elementary Teacher award in Houston ISD in 2011 and the Rizal Excellence in Education Award in 2012. During his free time, Mr. Mendoza loves to do arts and crafts and travel with friends.
The SLC-Alt Team
Uzma Basit has 15 years of teaching experience both here and in Pakistan. She has been teaching at Benavidez Elementary for the last five years as a PALS teacher and currently as an SLC teacher. Before coming to Benavidez, Ms. Basit served as a Pre -Kinder, PPCD, and ESL teacher in a Charter school in Houston and as a Science teacher in Pakistan.
Ms. Basit holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pakistan. She has also completed Child Development Credential (CDA), Family Development Credential (FDC), and Advanced Certified Autism Specialist (ACAS).
Ms. Basit enjoys cooking, baking, and gardening in her free time.
Brizeida Hernandez has been working in HISD for the last 3 years. Prior to working at HISD, Ms. Hernandez worked as a therapist in Cuba. She also worked as Rehabilitation specialist and taught gymnastics, bodybuilding, sports training, physical education and dance therapy.
Ms. Hernandez graduated from the Instituto Superior De Cultura Fisica Manuel Fajardo in Havana, Cuba with a degree in Physical Education and Recreation in 1992.
Ms. Hernandez’ hobbies include dancing, working out and Pilates.
The PSI Team
Adanma Onwuchekwa has been teaching for the last 3 years. She graduated from the University of Nigeria, Major in Guidance and Counseling.
Ana Bible has served HISD school children the past 10 years as a Teacher Assistant at Benavidez Elementary. Prior to beginning her service at Benavidez, she worked as a sales associate in electronics at Walmart.
Ms. Bible was born in El Salvador where she pursued a degree in ESL at the Universidad Francisco Gavidia. For 10 years, she worked as a teacher in a privately-owned PK-3 school in El Salvador.
During her free time, Ms. Bible loves to read and spend time with her son. She describes herself as an optimistic individual with an attitude of service to others. She believes that teamwork makes the dream work.
Dany Restani De Ojeda
Dany Restani De Ojeda has served HISD school children for the last 2 years as a Teacher Assistant in the PSI Class at Benavidez Elementary.
Ms. De Ojeda graduated from the Universidad Pedagogico el Libertador in Maracay, Venezuela in 1984 with a degree in Spanish and Literature. Before coming to Benavidez, De Ojeda taught in Middle and High school in Venezuela for 26 years, where she received Teacher of the Year Awards in 1993, 1998 and 2005.
Ms. De Ojeda describes herself as a happy and passionate person. Her hobbies include knitting and cross stitching
The PALS Team
Jonas Mendoza has been an educator since 2001. He has served the last 9 years in HISD. Before coming to Benavidez, Mr. Mendoza served as a Life Skills teacher from 2008 to 2014 at Wesley Elementary, and as a PALS teacher at Fonwood ECC from 2015-2018 .
Mr. Mendoza earned his Bachelor’s degree in both Elementary and Secondary Education graduating Magna Cum Laude at the St. Michael's College in 1995. He also completed the academic requirements of a Master of Arts in Special Education at the Philippine Normal University in 2008.
Mr. Mendoza’s hobbies include painting, drawing and sketching.
Fanny Martinez has served HISD school children for the last 16 years as a Teacher Assistant at Benavidez Elementary. Prior to beginning her service at Benavidez, Ms. Martinez worked as an Elementary Teacher in El Salvador, where she also attained a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Pharmacy and Biology at the Universidad Salvadorean Alberto Masferrer.
During her free time, Ms. Martinez loves to cook and spend time with her family. She describes herself as a hardworking person who is committed to working with students with disabilities
Benavidez Elementary 713-773-6275 (direct)
6262 Gulfton St. 713-778-3350 (school)
Houston, TX 77081 713-773-3358 (fax)