Source: CI Storytelling

As Troy Roddy walked off the baseball field after his last college game, he had an almost supernatural epiphany: this was not meant to be his last time on the field. With this realization seared into his brain, it proved to be the pivotal moment when Roddy realized his direction in life was meant for coaching, or more broadly, teaching. This led to him enrolling in education courses as he applied for high school coaching jobs, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward 30 years, and Roddy is set to take over as the next Head of School for the 2023-24 school year at Montrose-based St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. He currently serves as the current Head of School at Holy Trinity Episcopal School in Houston and has held leadership positions such as head of middle school, assistant principal and upper school dean of students.

“I’ll be kind to myself and say my teaching skills improved a little bit slower than my coaching skills improved,” Roddy said. “It took me some time and some good mentors and good coaches around me from the teaching side to help me out there. What I realized was that the coaching was fine, but that teaching was an unexpected pleasure.”

Roddy originally wasn’t sure what he wanted to study in college as a first generation student, so he decided on pursuing a business degree—something his parents thought would be useful in applying to any job. Once he started coaching and teaching, he quickly realized teaching was where his true passion lay.

When starting a new job, many people will start making grand plans and brainstorming large ideas on what they hope to accomplish in their first year. But Roddy has a different idea in mind. While keeping an eye on the bigger picture, he also plans on building relationships and engaging the community.

“There’s no substitute for being immersed in a community and really living with people and hearing them on a day-to-day basis. So in my first year I have few initial goals because I think stretching yourself too far in the first year is a recipe for disaster,” Roddy said. “The challenge is to just be very curious in the first year and avoid passing judgment.”

The environment and energy of St. Stephen’s is what drew Roddy to the job, specifically what the campus accomplishes with its STEM program for students. Over the years Roddy has observed that most children are naturally drawn to the curiosity of STEM projects. The school already has an established STEM program called the da Vinci Lab, which reflects his personal vision of what students should be learning.

“Every person I’ve met at St. Stephen’s has been delightful. I think they’ve been wonderful ambassadors for their school in their community. They’ve been very welcoming,” Roddy said.

In his free time, Roddy continues to educate through his Disney-focused podcast “Disney Assembled” that he co-hosts with his daughter. The idea stemmed from their shared love of all things Disney, as well as a way to stay connected with his daughter as she outgrew their common bond of sports. From the beginning, Roddy knew that to be successful, the show had to have one major goal in mind. In the end, it became a simple one: to make at least one person’s day just a bit happier.

“What I told St. Stephen’s is that my personal opinion is school—a great school—exists to make the world kinder and smarter. So I told my daughter when we do this podcast, we need a goal and so our goal is to just create joy,” Roddy said. “If one person’s day is happier, because they listened to us, then we’ve accomplished our goal.”