Teachers & Leaders
On Veterans Day, IDEA Public Schools honors and thanks all who served in the United States Armed Forces. On this sacred day, we want to highlight a veteran in the IDEA Team and Family, Marco C. Lopez, for the heroic work he’s done, both defending our country and educating students.
Marco C. Lopez, Principal at IDEA College Preparatory Brownsville , served in the United States Army for five years. A graduate of the ROTC program at University of Texas Brownsville, Marco was a platoon leader and executive officer during his time stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
As principal, Marco utilizes the skills he learned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army every day at IDEA College Preparatory Brownsville. When asked about the essential traits of a great leader, Marco immediately said, “Someone who encourages collaboration.” Marco recalled his early perception of quality leadership as someone barking orders at the top of a hill. In his time in the army, later as a math teacher, and finally as a campus leader, Marco realized his initial perception of a great leader was very different from the leader he strives to be.
“One person should not, nor cannot, carry the load of a team,” said Marco. “Just like in the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, we’re successful here at IDEA Brownsville College Prep because we collaborate with each other and utilize the skills of every team member across each part of our school.” Marco’s time in the military taught him that trust and teamwork are essential traits of a leader.
“Staff members like Monika Longoria, Darren Mendiola, Rachael Brown, Norma Jimenez, Allyson Even, William Corbit, and so many more here at IDEA Brownsville brighten the future of IDEA students,” said Marco. “Together we’re mirroring a world-class education.”
This is extremely important to Marco because helping to end educational inequity is his passion and goal.
“When I first taught pre-algebra at Brownsville Independent School District, it became very apparent that much of the Rio Grande Valley, where I was born and raised, was not on par educationally with other parts of the country,” Marco explained. “We’re changing that at IDEA for our students.”
IDEA College Preparatory Brownsville is certainly an example of this change. Most recently, the campus was recognized by the Texas Education Agency for receiving every academic distinction this past year. Marco and his team also make it a central focus to educate students on the real-world application of knowledge they learn in the classroom.
When reflecting on his service in the United States Military, Marco feels honored to have served his country and to have developed into the leader he is today. “I feel very privileged to have served in the Army,” said Marco. “Here I am, fifteen years later, still using the skills I learned as a second lieutenant, platoon leader and executive officer as a principal in my community.”
IDEA is honored to have Marco Lopez and all of our veterans as integral members of our Team and Family. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your heroic service.