Faces of KISD: Melanie Rhodes

Cindy Ciotta, Assistant Editor

Keller High School is home to many outstanding people: students and teachers, new and returning, and each has a unique story.

In particular, with an incredible story that stands out, is Melanie Rhodes, a new teacher at Keller High School this year.

Rhodes was born in a poverty stricken town in the Philippines that to this day, according to her husband Michael Rhodes, does not have running water or electric in most homes. Rhodes worked diligently as a maid to pursue her education and remained positive. She worked through college as a live-in nanny for four children; she managed their bills and meals in addition to attending night classes. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English and graduated Texas A&M with her Master’s Degree. On the same day she graduated from Texas A&M, she also received her United States citizenship.

After college, Rhodes started teaching at the Dominican College in Metro Manila where she met her husband at a church group. Mr. Rhodes was a heart transplant recipient in 2002. They dated for two years before getting married in 2005. They have been married twelve years now and have an eleven year old daughter who has autism. Although their daughter has never spoken, “her beauty and spirit fill their lives every day,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes joined the army at age 36. “I wanted to give something back because I felt grateful to Americans for allowing me to come here as an immigrant,” said Rhodes. When she joined, she was the oldest recruit in Basic Training (the average age is 18). She excelled in training, achieving two awards,  having the Highest PT score among everyone. Additionally she accomplished 137 push ups in two minutes, 135 sit-ups in two minutes, and ran two miles in fourteen minutes. Her husband gladly tells that her overall highest Army PT score was 480, which she made at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Just recently, Rhodes helped out in Houston with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey for ten days. She was part of the Signal Unit, responsible for all the communications of the soldiers in the field. She also made sure that people being saved had life vests.  

Rhodes loves to run in her free time after school. Her husband Michael said, “She loves helping students with anything and everything.” We know she will make a great addition to our community. Keller High School is proud and honored to have such an inspiring woman, mother, teacher, role model, and friend serve at our school.