IDEA Greater Houston Area PIR Program Now Accepting Applicants

Pictured above is Allison Serafin, Executive Director of IDEA Public Schools Houston

At IDEA, we know our vision of College For All Children is possible, but not without individuals who want to make positive change in education.  This path to real change starts with our principals.  We educate nearly 36,000 students in 61 schools, all on the road to success in college and in life.  By 2022, IDEA will grow to 100,000 college-bound students in 173 schools nationwide, including the Greater Houston Area.  With grand expansion on the horizon, we know recruiting and mentoring great principals is a catalyst to the success of our schools and students.

“We are excited to offer children and families in Houston an additional school option with IDEA schools”, said Allison Serafin, the executive director of IDEA Greater Houston Area.  “Houston is my hometown, and I am proud to lead an effort that will offer more families great tuition-free public schools. We look forward to working alongside ISDs committed to putting students first and high-performing public charter schools led by KIPP Houston and YES Prep, for example, to serve and support students that deserve a transformational education.”


Our Principal-in-Residence (PIR) Program is unique in that it offers unparalleled coaching, mentorship, and professional development for our future IDEA campus principals.  Fellows of the PIR Program receive world-class leadership coaching from their mentor Principal, IDEA's Director of Leader Development, and their fellow PIR cohort.

Our (PIR) Program experience is an essential step toward becoming an IDEA Principal. The residency is a full-time, competitive salaried, intensive learning opportunity that allows participants to develop the most critical principal knowledge, skills, and mindsets from our organization’s most successful school leaders. In the PIR program, fellows are a fundamental part of the school’s leadership team and assume significant, on-campus management responsibilities.  All cohort members receive full health benefits, as well as relocation and education stipends for those moving to new IDEA regions.

Upon successful completion of the program, PIRs will be prepared to serve as the principal of an IDEA Houston school in 2020.

Educational excellence for our students starts with great leaders, and that’s where you come in.  We encourage you to consider this unique leadership program.  

Learn More and Apply to Become a PIR at IDEA.

click here

We have included below application timeline information and frequently asked questions about the PIR program.

Application Timelines:

We have another upcoming application deadline this year. When you apply will determine when you move through our process. Although our application remains open all year long, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to maximize your opportunity to receive an offer at IDEA!



Apply Online

Mar. 1, 2018

Learn if you’re invited to a phone interview

Mar. 8, 2018

Complete your phone interview *

Mar. 8 - Mar. 19, 2018

Additional screening activities

Mar. 19 - Apr. 2, 2018

Final Interviews **

Apr. 6 - May 4, 2018

* You will have 3-5 days to complete your interview after receiving your invitation.

** You will have 3-5 days to complete your interview after receiving your invitation. However, some applicants may wait longer depending on our vacancies.


Is the PIR role paid?

Yes, the PIR role is a full-time, salaried position. Within IDEA, the PIR position is viewed as a promotion from the Assistant Principal role. The salary scale is commensurate with that promotion and competitive with public schools across Texas.

How long do PIRs typically stay in the program before becoming principals?

The PIR program is designed to prepare PIRs to run a new or existing IDEA school within 2-3 years. The decision to promote a PIR into the principal role is primarily based on each PIR’s progress on their individualized development plan, while also taking into account the demands of IDEA school expansion and vacancy timelines.

If selected, when would I begin?

The PIR role begins in the summer. New Leader Training at IDEA typically takes place in mid-July, but this is subject to change based on district plans. If you are selected as a PIR, we will work with you on a transition plan into your role.

If selected, do I get to choose the school site where I complete the residency?

IDEA will take your regional preference into consideration. However, we cannot guarantee placement at a specific campus. We take the matching of PIRs to mentor principals and residency campuses very seriously, and do our utmost to ensure that the PIR is placed in a school where they have the most opportunity to grow and develop.

What does the day-to-day look like for a PIR?

PIRs are not mere observational learners. They are core members of the “Lead Team” at their school site, alongside the Principal, Assistant Principals for Instruction and Operations, and Counselors. PIRs interact with teachers, leaders, students, and families every single day.

What kind of development can I expect as a PIR?

The PIR curriculum centers around an Individualized Learning Plan that guides your development on eight very specific “School Leadership Levers.” You, your mentor principal, and your leadership coach at IDEA all collaborate together to ensure that you are progressing on the levers related to your goals every week.

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