Arun Bala Weds Kelly Pfister


Arun Bala and Kelly Pfister after their wedding in Bay Harbor, Michigan on June 18, 2016.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: It was a passion for teaching that destined them to the same high school, but it was the proverbial copy machine that finally brought them together! After their undergraduate degrees, both taught at Robert E. Lee High School in Houston’s west side. Kelly was standing in a job fair line in a school district in Chicago when a representative from HISD suggested she go south. And Kelly agreed, as if Fate was pointing her in the direction of Arun, who had volunteered in a Teach For America program after his undergraduate degree and was sent to the same high school.

Their first meeting happened in the Fall of 2010. After Arun had spotted Kelly teaching in her classroom, he would purposely go to the copier at the furthest end of the corridor from his own classroom to sneak a peek at her. A week later, her plucked up enough courage to talk to her. He asked her out for a Friday night date and the romance was kindled!

Almost six years later, Kelly and Arun were married on June 18, 2016 in Bay Harbor, Michigan, a small idyllic town on the shores of Lake Michigan in a non-religious American wedding and later a Hindu wedding. This past Saturday, July 16, they held a reception for their family and numerous friends at the Houstonian Hotel on North Post Oak.

Arun Kumar Bala, 29, grew up in Houston and graduated from the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas in Austin and then joined the Teach for America program, teaching math at Robert E. Lee High School in Houston. He went on to dental college at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine and graduated in May 2016. In July, he started a three residency program in orthodontics at Baylor Dental College in Dallas.

Arun’s parents, Dr. Nat and Anu Bala have lived in Houston for more than 30 years. Nat is a gastroenterologist in Houston and practices in the Clear Lake area and Anu is very active in community affairs and in helping her daughter, Meera, a third-year resident in internal medicine, and son-in-law Nate Avila, who just started his fellowship in gastroenterology, with their four-year old son Jayden.

Kelly Ann Pfister, 27, received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Kelly wanted to teach in an underserved school away from home when she was offered a job in Houston ISD. Kelly is passionate about teaching and continued to teach in Houston while Arun moved to New York to go to dental school. After Lee High School she taught at Kipp Academy – a magnet school for the underserved. She was the winner of the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015. Kelly’s parents, Paul, a practicing attorney and Katherine Pfister both live in Michigan.

After a brief honeymoon in Banff, Canada, the couple will live in Dallas where Arun will finish his residency.