Michelle L. Bonton is Our Voice, for Our Time, for Our Houston! She is a native Houstonian, Veteran Educator, Businesswoman, and Entrepreneur with a passion for impacting the community for good. As a public servant in education for 30 years and as Superintendent and Founder of the Rhodes School for the Performing Arts (RSPA), Michelle impacts the lives of thousands of children and their families. Building on her training and experience as a successful public school teacher, counselor, and administrator, Michelle provided visionary leadership and navigated RSPA’s development from a foundling organization with 5 teachers and 97 students to a 200 employee, 1,200 student strong institution in just 10 years.
Michelle has always been a change agent who advocated for others, (she petitioned her middle school principal to request a school bus stop closer to the apartment complex her family lived in, saving herself and her classmates a 2 mile walk each day!). As a teen mom, Michelle fought to overcome the challenges associated with that circumstance, but found it extremely difficult to navigate a system that was structured to foster cyclical failure rather than success. Those experiences taught Michelle the reality of the truism that says, “If you’re not at the table, then you’re on the table,” and gave birth to Michelle’s desire to have a voice in the making of laws and policies that impacted her life and the lives of others like her.
As a community leader, Michelle consistently advocates at the city and state level ensuring that the voice of the people is heard and that action is taken on their behalf. Her training and knowledge of education led to her service as an education policy specialist for a state representative during the 83rdlegislative session. Additionally, Michelle has been called upon to testify at the state level on education issues several times over the course of her career, and acted as a policy analyst for Fox 26 Houston’s Front Page Talksegment in 2013.
Michelle holds a 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 writer for the Tribune newspaper, member of the Greater Houston Black Chamber Legislative Committee and a member of the Lake Houston Public Affairs Committee.
When she is not in the trenches fighting for change, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family. She has been married to her husband Ellis for 34 years. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Michelle is a committed Christian whose ministry passion is teens and young adults. Michelle Bonton is a candidate for the people. She is OURVoice…for OURTime…for OurHouston!