Launching IDEA Public Schools
Founding & Launching a New School System in Texas
Tom Torkelson (Rio Grande Valley ‘97) was relentless about improving his teaching during his time in the corps. After learning from some of the best teachers at his school and touring the most effective schools in Texas, he was motivated to launch his own school and incorporate the best practices he observed. He and his fellow TFA alum, JoAnn Gama (Rio Grande Valley ‘97) founded IDEA Public Schools in 2000, with the goal of providing students in underserved communities with the same opportunities as their more affluent peers.