Manuel Rodríguez Jr. was first elected to the Board of Education in 2003 and reelected in 2007. He served as assistant secretary in his first year as a trustee, second vice president in 2005 & 2013, first vice president in 2006, and president in 2007.
A graduate of Stephen F. Austin High School (Class of Jan. 1970), he received an associate of arts degree in social sciences from Solano Community College and studied organizational behavior management and marketing at the University of Houston. He served as a part-time community-relations specialist in the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department's Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations from 1998 through December 2004.
A computer specialist in the U.S. Air Force from 1970 to 1977, Rodriguez served the Air Training Command in Lubbock, Texas, in the 601st Tactical Command Wing and was attached to NATO in Lindsey Air Station, in Wiesbaden, Germany. He finished his tour at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif. Rodríguez’s primary carrier responsibility was as a computer programmer and operation specialist; he was also the Airman Training NCO and was the EEOC/Drug & Alcohol Relation Liaison.
Trustee Rodríguez is also the founder and president of the MARVAA Corporation, which provides assistance in education, housing, and community involvement. Rodríguez served from 2008-2011 as the HISD director for Houston on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of School Boards and in 2010 he was elected president of the Mexican American School Board Members Association. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Hispanic Institute Hall of Fame, and was the recipient of the Houston East End Chamber 2008 Education Impact Award. He has been awarded an HISD commendation for meritorious service as well as a community service award from the Texas House of Representatives for his long-time dedication in working with Houston youth. He was named a James Deady Middle School Volunteer of the Year and been named one of the Outstanding Young Men of America.
In 1997, Rodríguez served on HISD's task force to review the state comptroller's audit of the district, and he was a member of Parents for Public Schools and a national board member for the organization from 2000 through 2005. He was also a board member for the Gulfgate Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and the Hispanic Housing Education. Rodríguez was alumni president for Austin High School and is a lifetime member. He is currently serving as the SFA Alumni Association Newsletter editor, and he is an active member of the Pecan Park Civic Association and St. Christopher Catholic Church.
Rodríguez and his wife, Virginia, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in May 2013 and have four children together. Rodríguez, his wife, and all four of their children graduated from HISD schools.