Standrick Rhodes ‘07, ‘09


Name: Standrick Rhodes '07, '09 
Residence: Rock Hill, South Carolina 
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Special Education, Master's in Special Education 
Occupation: Special Education Teacher

As a teenager, Standrick Rhodes '07, '09 had a love for theatre that eventually grew into a passion for teaching as he grew older.

His dedication to children and education would lead him to a pivotal moment in his career in 2020 when he was selected as Oakdale STEAM Elementary School's Teacher of the Year and Rock Hill Schools' District Teacher of the Year. 

“I did not expect it, but I am truly grateful.  Every time I think about it, tears come to my eyes.  I also consider it an accomplishment to make my principals, teams and family proud,” Rhodes said. 

For Rhodes, the passion for teaching was sparked at Camp Spearhead, a Greenville, South Carolina, camp for children and adults with various exceptionalities. It was later furthered and developed at Winthrop, where he studied education, both undergraduate and graduate. 

“I went to visit the Winthrop campus in February of 2003 and knew it was the place for me. I liked that there was a clear boundary between campus and the rest of Rock Hill. I also liked that everything I needed was in walking distance. Most importantly, I loved the class size. I knew that professors wouldn't just know me as a number, or a student, but that they would know me by name and took attendance for each class. There was a strong sense of family and accountability, and I fell in love that day,” he said. 

He was an active student at Winthrop and was involved in several clubs and organizations. Rhodes said he experienced “opportunities I never would have dreamed of” and interacted with “some of the best education professors in the world.” 

“I must say that every professor I had at Winthrop poured positivity into me. I have to give honor to Mrs. Cynthia P. Roddey. After studying the history of Winthrop, I aspired to be a trailblazer like her,” Rhodes said. 

The professors who stick out the most, he said, include Drs. Bradley Witzel, Elke Schneider, Rebecca Evers, Deana Peterson and Kelly and Beth Costner. Rhodes also said he was positively impacted by the cafeteria staff and custodians.

“I got to know them outside of an academic setting and what I learned from them is wisdom cannot be purchased. I'm grateful for them daily,” said Rhodes, who continues to stay connected to the Winthrop community. 

In addition to his school serving as a partner with Winthrop Teacher Cadets, Rhodes is a member of the Black Alumni Council and is heavily involved with the Richard W. Riley College of Education, Sport, and Human Sciences as a guest speaker and panelist.