IDEA, Inductee into 2018 National Charter Schools Hall of Fame, Celebrates National Charter Schools Week

Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama with 2018 IDEA seniors at College Signing Day 

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools announced today that Tom Torkelson, IDEA CEO and Founder, and JoAnn Gama, IDEA Co-Founder, President, and Superintendent, were inducted into the 2018 National Charter School Hall of Fame.  IDEA Public Schools joins the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance), families, schools, and communities across the country in celebrating National Charter Schools Week, May 7-11, 2018.

The National Charter Schools Hall of Fame was established to recognize individuals and organizations who have had a profound and lasting impact on the charter school movement. Honorees will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2018 National Charter School Conference (NCSC18) on June 19 and 20 in Austin, Texas. The four 2018 honorees will join 35 esteemed inductees since the Hall of Fame’s inception in 2007. Learn more about the 2018 inductees and past inductees on the National Alliance website.


Over the next four years, IDEA will expand to serve 100,000 students at 173 schools in 10 regions across the country. In August, IDEA will expand to El Paso, Texas, in addition to opening four schools outside of the state of Texas for the first time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This expansion is due to the success of IDEA’s current schools. In April, 849 IDEA seniors revealed where they were going to college in front of 24,000 people in attendance over the course of three days.

“Our leaders, teachers and staff are all proving what is possible when you have individuals who are committed to providing a great education for all students,” said Tom Torkelson, founder and CEO of IDEA Public Schools. “Since IDEA opened its first school 18 years ago, our teachers and staff have continued to improve, innovate, and provide the highest-quality education possible for our students who we know can and will succeed in college and in life.”
“Camino Nuevo, IDEA, and Yu Ying represent the breadth of charter school innovation and depth of school leadership from coast to coast,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance. “This diverse group of leaders demonstrates that regardless of a school’s management structure or network status, or the background of their student bodies, a relentless focus on student success can lead to incredible results. We are thrilled to recognize these educators and their contributions to empowering students by providing high quality public school options.” 

Get more great IDEA content delivered to your inbox!

click here

Recent Posts

Texas Ranks Low in Education; IDEA Seeking to Change It

May 07

On January 21, the San Antonio Current published a revealing article, detailing the recent education survey results from WalletHUB, a financial website. And sadly, the results showed that the Texas public education system ranked low in most categories, including educational attainment, school quality, and gaps...

Re-Registration FAQs for the 2019-20 School Year

May 07

We look forward to having our scholars return to IDEA Public Schools for the 2019-20 school year! To guarantee your scholar’s spot, you will need to re-register your child through SchoolMint by February 9, 2019.  Please read the information below for frequently asked questions about the r...