Houston, Texas is the fourth most populated city in the United States with more than 2.3 million residents, and according to the Education Equality Index (EEI), fewer students from Houston’s low-income families are likely to attend schools that provide them with similar educational opportunities as their more advantaged peers. IDEA Public Schools is ready to help close this achievement gap. In this grand metropolitan area, IDEA Public Schools has a comprehensive plan to open 20 schools within six years with its first four schools opening in fall 2020. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, selecting a dedicated leader who knows and understands Houston and public charter schools is crucial. This is why IDEA is proud that Houston native and 20-year education veteran, Allison Serafin, has taken the new role as Executive Director of IDEA Public Schools – Greater Houston.
Allison’s leadership skills business acumen, and can-do attitude stems from her diverse and robust career experiences.
Prior to her new role, she founded and was president of Opportunity 180 in Las Vegas, Nevada where she recruited high-quality talent programs and public charter school operators to expand to Southern Nevada. She was also elected in 2012 to serve on the Nevada State Board of Education and was appointed Vice-President throughout her years of service. She also owned her own consulting business, coached school leaders and teacher, led corporate philanthropy for a Fortune 500 company, taught 6th grade at Attucks Middle School in Houston Independent School District (HISD) during her Teach For America commitment and 7th grade at YES Prep North Central.
When Allison learned that she needed to return home to be closer to her family, she was excited to join the IDEA family as she had spent years trying to recruit IDEA to expand to Las Vegas. She is a firm believer that more students in Houston and across the country need access to what IDEA offers—a transformational college preparatory public education.
“I experienced the opportunity gap first-hand in Houston. I attended private schools and public schools, and I’ve taught at public district and charter schools in Houston,” says Allison. “I strongly believe that access to a quality education should not be dependent on a student’s race, zip code or family income.”
The Vision for IDEA Public Schools in Houston
As one of IDEA’s newest Executive Directors, Allison has hit the ground running to prepare for the first four schools opening in fall 2020. One of her priorities is to identify locations for upcoming schools based on need in the area.
“When I’m looking at potential locations, I consider where families lack access to high quality public schools and where there is demand for more great schools,” says Allison. “We need to add value to a community.”
Allison is also prioritizing hiring a stellar team of principals, teachers, and operations staff.
“We have so much wo