• HAIS Community,

    It is a privilege to serve you as the principal of the Houston Academy for International Studies.  When I describe our school to community members, they often say, “Wow, where was your school when I was in high school?” or “I wish I could have gone to your school!” 

    I could not agree more. When I was in high school I couldn’t wait to get out!  After graduating from college and joining Teach for America, moving to Houston was only the second time I had ever been on a plane.  I taught at Fondren Middle School in Houston for 3 years, and then I decided to follow a life-long dream and I joined the United States Peace Corps. I lived and worked in 2 different countries in Africa: Cape Verde and Mozambique.  It is thrilling to be able to offer our students some of these same life-changing experiences while they are still in high school.

    Over these past few years, we have worked together with our partners at HISD, HCC and the Asia Society to build a phenomenal school: a school that can work with students to help fulfill their dreams of college and learning more about the world.  Our students have traveled around the globe including to Egypt, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Slovenia, Belize, Italy and Spain.  On average, our seniors graduate with 40 hours of college credit.  That is one year of college done and paid for before graduating high school.  In fact, 75 of our seniors last year received their Associates Degree before they received their high school diploma.

    Our students never cease to amaze me.  Today they are taking on the challenges of juggling an advanced high school curriculum and the demands of college; tomorrow they will be prepared to take on the problems that challenge our world.

    We all look forward to working with you as we create a world of opportunities for our students.


    Melissa Jacobs Thibaut

    Founding Principal
    TFA Alumni

    Peace Corps: Cape Verde and Mozambique 1