IDEA’s Principal-in-Residence Program

Join a cohort of transformational school leaders and change the educational landscape for thousands of children in underserved communities.

About the Program

When you are accepted into IDEA’s Principal in Residence (PIR) Program, you join a cohort of the highest performing school leaders in the country.This full-time, intensive, paid learning opportunity provides participants with leadership development from IDEA’s most successful school and district leaders.

PIRs complete their residency in IDEA schools across Texas and Southern Louisiana. Upon completion of the program, PIRs will lead IDEA schools as Principals in Texas, Southern Louisiana and Florida. Find out more about IDEA regions.

The Ideal Candidate

Excited about the thought of joining a fast-paced organization that is dramatically changing the face of public education.

Has previous experience coaching and managing a cohort of teachers and/or campus-based leaders.

Believes they have the potential to move from good to great with the right system and support.

Not sure if this program is right for you? Please consider other leadership opportunities at IDEA!

What will you focus on?
PIRs spend 1-2 years strengthening their instructional, people management, and data-driven decision making skills through direct coaching, stretch assignments, and “principal” moments.

We utilize our school leadership levers (SLLs) to develop your skill while you play a critical role as a member of the school leadership team in ensuring your placement school hits rigorous goals for students and staff.

You will have the support of a Director of Leadership Development as an additional coach alongside your placement school’s Mentor Principal. Your placement school’s Mentor Principal will also serve as your direct supervisor unless otherwise determined by the region’s Executive Director. 

Where will you be?
PIRs are placed in at IDEA schools across multiple regions and states.

  • If you are a PIR for a region that does not have schools yet, you will be placed in a mature region and at a school that most closely matches the experiences needed for you to be successful.

  • If you are a PIR for a region with only a small number of schools, you will either be placed in that region OR in another more mature region, based on your development needs and availability.

  • If you are a PIR for a mature region with many schools, you will be placed in that region, unless otherwise determined by your Executive Director.


Who will you work with?
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.

Where are you headed?
PIRs are hired by regions with the intent that they will be selected to become principals in that region when there is an opening and the PIR is ready.

Regions invest significant resources in the development of each PIR and so it is imperative that for PIRs to understand the commitment they are making to the regions that hire them. While PIRs are allowed to apply for principal vacancies in any IDEA region, it is encouraged that they apply for open principal positions in the region that hired them. 

Meet Some of Our Principals in Residence


Learn More

Connect with an IDEA Recruiter

Fill out this form to share more information about yourself, as well as any questions you’d like our team to answer.

View the PIR Brochure

Download this brochure to learn more about the Principal In Residence program, including the application and selection process.


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.

Where do you see yourself at IDEA?



Our instructional teams exemplify our unwavering, organization belief that a college education is possible for all children.



We believe that passionate, disciplined leaders make all the difference in the success of our students and the teams they manage.



Whether you work at HQ in Weslaco, TX, our offices across IDEA’s regions or remotely, a position on the HQ team is important and rewarding.



It takes hundreds of people working hard behind the scenes to make sure that our students, teachers and school leaders are successful.

Open Positions

Please click below to view all current vacancies and for the 2023-24 school year. Within the application, you can indicate if you want to be considered for the current school year as well. These positions will be updated weekly. We recommend reading each job description carefully to ensure you are applying for the role you are best suited for.