Teachers & Leaders
IDEA Operations Staff Spotlight: Virginia Lopez
Virginia with her family during the holidays!
Meet Virginia Lopez. She is the Assistant Principal of Operations at IDEA Pflugerville, and she is excited to have the opportunity to launch a brand new campus this fall.
Ready to improve the education of IDEA students, she served as a co-teacher at IDEA Allan in 2013. Virginia admits her first love has always been operations management. Utilizing her 11 years of experience as a leader, she then became a facilities manager and transportation manager for IDEA Allan - at the same time!
Read on to learn how Virginia has taken her knowledge to launch new campuses while simultaneously constructing an exceptional experience for new IDEA families.
Where did you grow up / have you always been part of the Pflugerville community?
I was born in Monterrey Mexico but grew up in Pharr, TX since 1990.
How long have you been with IDEA?
I have been with IDEA since 2010 as a parent when my oldest daughter joined the kinder program at IDEA San Juan (go Saints) and as an actual employee since May 2013.
Take me through a day of an APO (What responsibilities does this entail?)
APOs are the jack of all trades, and masters of some, if not all, that falls under their umbrella. As a launching APO for the second time (IDEA Rundberg was the first campus I helped launch in 2015), my time has been spent in the community, getting to know families, making community partnerships, and ultimately, meeting the families that will found IDEA Pflugerville.
Recruitment has been a top priority since September, and currently we are onboarding families and preparing for registration. Along with keeping up to speed with the construction of what will be our beautiful building, I have been searching for the best talent that will become part of the Pflugerville operations team, as well as supporting my principal through her staffing interviews. Between coaching staff, attending trainings, and APO calls, I have an opportunity to share a small office with the most determined, dedicated, and exciting people on my team.
What was your journey (work experience) like to get to APO?
I came to IDEA in 2013 with 11 years of call center operations management experience and joined the organization as a co-teacher at IDEA Allan. Shortly after I joined, I learned that we had an instructional team, and an operational team that led our school.
Operations is my first love and in December 2013, I had the opportunity to join Allan’s operational team as a facility manager and a transportation manager; yes, at the same time. During this time, I learned about buses, cost per square foot, and the responsibility about providing the best environment possible for students to learn.
In September 2014, I was offered the opportunity to join an amazing leadership team in Austin, as an APO. Launching IDEA Rundberg has been the most fulfilling, yet challenging, task during my time at IDEA. My experience serving this community allowed me to grow as an employee, as a parent, as an immigrant, and most important, as a human being.
What is your proudest moment as an IDEA APO?
Being an APO has brought me several moments that have filled my heart with goodness and joy, like being the first launching school to recruit 100% and enroll 100% on the first day of school or winning the Operations team of the year two years in a row (as a launching team).
However, my most recent proudest moment was in January 2018 after lottery. I called Mr. Rodriguez to let him know, Ashley Rodriguez, his future 6th grader, had been selected in the lottery. Dad couldn’t continue with the conversation so he passed the phone to mom, and when I told mom I was calling to offer them a seat for Ashley; mom began to cry and shortly after she said, “We’ve been waiting for your call.”
See, Ashley’s parents had been told by their school district at the time that Ashley couldn’t learn, and that when her parents accepted that, Ashley will stop being so stubborn in thinking she can do more. Having the privilege of serving a family like Ashley’s fills me with pride, and gives my work all the motivation I need to ensure I do whatever it takes, to fight for Ashley’s right for a better education.