IDEA Lake Houston sets high expectations for every student and goes the extra mile to make sure every student realizes their own potential. Personalized learning, critical thinking skills, mastery of core subjects is our recipe for success.
IDEA Lake Houston is located at
5627 S Lake Houston Parkway,
Houston, TX 77049
LaRhonda May is a proud wife and a mother of two young boys. Originally, she is from Louisiana but has been calling Houston home for the past 17 years. She started her teaching career in Houston as a high school Biology teacher at Sam Houston HS. During her 16 years in public education, she has continued to serve students in Houston in various instructional coaching roles including being a Dean of Instruction, Principal in Residence and was recently named Founding Principal for IDEA Lake Houston Academy.
LaRhonda received her bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in Biology from Grambling State University and her master’s degree in Educational Administration (M.Ed.) from Lamar University. This year, she is a fellow in the National Principal Academy Fellowship (NPAF) by Relay Graduate School of Education.
Mrs. May is thrilled to be back to Houston’s north side to ensure that our community of scholars have access to a rigorous curriculum that will help them matriculate to and through college. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Greater Houston Area by proving what’s possible when scholars, including her Kindergarten son at IDEA Spears, are equipped with knowledge and skills to excel in their educational experience. There is no limit to what brilliant minds can do!
Ms. Marissa Garza is a native of the Rio Grande Valley, mother of 4, grandma of 3, who is a first-generation graduate with her Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing. She began her journey in education shortly after as an elementary teacher where she taught 1st – 3rd grade at Jessie L. Jensen Elementary for 6 years in Mission, Texas. During the summer, she participated in curriculum writing to support in rigorous TEKS alignment in instruction. She then transitioned to IDEA College Preparatory at Pharr in 2013 as an Intervention teacher; her primary role was to work with 6th-8th grade students to close the literacy gap.
Marissa has served many roles at IDEA Pharr including Interventionist, Individualized Learning Specialist, Assistant Principal of Instruction, Summer Odyssey Director, and Principal in Residence. During those 7 years, she witnessed the 6th graders she first taught graduate and matriculate to colleges across the nation.
Marissa Garza currently serves as the Founding Principal of IDEA Lake Houston College Prep. In this role, Ms. Garza supervises the first graduating class of Lake Houston, current 6th grade students’ academic programs, with a focus on AP for all and coaching teachers and leaders to serve and support our student population. She is dedicated to serve IDEA College Preparatory at Lake Houston with the foundation of her school embodying unity, accomplishment, and growth. This means that as a school we come together as a united front by celebrating positive achievements and providing a safe, welcoming environment for our scholars, staff, and families. We work with a sense of accomplishment by motivating and investing our community to have an end goal in mind, and finally we grow together through coaching and rigorous programming.
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, Melissa taught sophomore English and Teen Leadership as well as trained new teachers on how to incorporate classroom management strategies (CHAMPS) into their classroom instruction. After serving Alief ISD for 8 years, Melissa relocated to Midland, Texas and worked as an Instructional Technology Specialist for Ector County ISD. Melissa joined IDEA as a Principal in Residence with IDEA Spears.
No matter what her role is, education is what she believes she was placed on this earth to do. Facilitating lessons for students to fall in love with learning is her passion and inspiring students to believe that they can achieve the unimaginable is what wakes her up in the morning. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her friends, family, husband, and new puppy.