Joseph Mitchell, History Teacher

Joseph Mitchell

Pronouns: he/him/his

Upper School History

History Teacher, AP Government


I’m delighted to be joining the Menlo community as an educator with a rich history in teaching and mentoring. Prior to my time at Menlo, I spent twenty-seven years in the history department at Castilleja School, where I also served as the sophomore dean for thirteen years.

Over the course of my nearly three decades in education, I’ve had the privilege of teaching a diverse range of subjects, including US history, US government, psychology, gender studies, ethics, and philosophy. My passion lies in fostering a safe, positive, and interactive classroom environment, where students feel supported in developing their abilities to construct and express authentic viewpoints on important and thought-provoking topics.

As an educator, I firmly believe in the power of history and social science as transformative lenses through which students can develop the essential skills of productive and healthy discourse. My primary goal is to equip my students with the ability to have meaningful discussions and respectfully disagree with one another. I see myself as their chief advocate, mentor, and role model, guiding them on their journey towards becoming confident, critical thinkers, and responsible, ethical citizens of the 21st century.

At Menlo, I have the privilege of teaching sophomore US history and the junior-senior history elective AP US Government. My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, I have experience working on Capitol Hill and serving as a research assistant for a successful US Senate campaign.

I live in San Carlos with my wife, daughter, and our feline companion, Pippin. My son will be away starting college this fall. I have a passion for trail running and am an avid singer-songwriter and composer.