Director of Advancement<br>Michelle L. Bonton

Michelle L. Bonton is a veteran educator and visionary leader with a passion for children. She is committed to improving education through a transformational school design model that brings all stakeholders to the table. She challenges stakeholders to do theirpart in creating community and student success through the concept of CREW.

The concept of CREW is one of accountability and ownership. Over the last 25 years, as a teacher, counselor, school leader, and charter school founder, Michelle has been blessed to  impact the lives of thousands of children and their families using the CREWprinciple.  By providing a model, experiences and proper tools, she empowers staff, community members and students to be active participants in their lives. This sense of ownership prompts integrity, fairness and responsible, autonomous action.

As the founder and administrative CREW leader of The Rhodes School and The Education Valet, Inc., Michelle even wove the principle of CREWinto the mission of The Rhodes School:  To develop a crew that produces critical thinkers with the character to lead.

Through servant leadership embodied in the principles of CREW, Michelle has led The Rhodes School to tremendous growth from just 97 students and one campus in year one to more than 1,400 students across 4 campuses today, all of which consistently meet or exceed state and national standards for student performance.

 Further, under Michelle’s leadership and direction, The Education Valet, Inc., formed a strategic partnership with the University of Texas Children’s Learning Institute and now provides early childhood training to staff in more than 42 early learning centers in underserved neighborhood across our city. This program has impacted more than 1,000 children since the partnership began 5 years ago, and has received state and international recognition.

Michelle’s professional preparation includes school leadership training and Mid-management certification from Stephen F. Austin University, a Master’s degree in counseling from Prairie View A&M University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Houston Downtown.  She is a prolific speaker, former radio talk show host, grantwriter, and community advocate. 

She is also an education policy specialist who  gives invitedpublic testimony on proposed laws and regulations related to education, a newly elected board member of the Texas Charter Schools Association, a state-wide organization serving more than 250,000 children in over over 1,000 charter schools.

Her professional affiliations are outlined below:

  • Texas Charter Schools Association, Board of Directors Member
  • Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, Member, 2017 Pinnacle Award Winner
  • Houston Association of Black School Educators
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Association of Black School Educators

Michelle is a wife of more than 30 years, a mother of 3 children, a grandmother, and above all, a committed Christian.