IDEA McAllen

Proudly serving the students and families of McAllen.

Who we are

IDEA McAllen 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.

  • 2012 Year Founded
  • 1595 Students Currently Enrolled
  • Pre-K – 12 22-23 Grade Levels

Our Campus

IDEA McAllen is located at:

IDEA McAllen, 201 N. Bentsen Rd., McAllen, TX 78501

201 N. Bentsen Rd.
McAllen, Texas 78501
(956) 429-4100


Campus Leaders

Darlene Espinoza

Principal, IDEA Academy McAllen

Hi McAllen team and family! I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Darlene Espinoza and I will be the proud principal for IDEA Academy McAllen for the 2019-2020 school year!

My goal is to lead a transformational school where adults work relentlessly to build balanced students: students who are academically solid and emotionally intelligent. This approach best positions students to be contributing members of their community and our larger world. I am a native of the Rio Grande Valley and am starting my 9th year with IDEA Public Schools! I am incredibly invested in IDEA, and am so excited about what our organization is doing for students in the Rio Grande Valley! During my time with IDEA, I’ve had many roles including a teacher, interventionist, and assistant principal. I currently live in McAllen with my 8-year old daughter Natalia, 1-year old daughter Naya and husband Danny. In my free time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my family.

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Roberto Garza

Principal, IDEA College Prep McAllen

Roberto Garza IV is a proud UT Austin Longhorn who graduated in 2010 with his Bachelors degree in Economics. In 2012 he joined the IDEA Team and Family as the founding 6th grade math teacher for IDEA McAllen College Prep.

Roberto has served many roles at IDEA McAllen including High School Teacher, Grade Team Leader, Content Team Leader, Assistant Principal of Instruction, IB Coordinator, AP Coordinator and Principal in Residence. During those 7 years, he witnessed the 6th graders he first taught graduate and matriculate to the colleges of their dreams. After one year serving at IDEA Donna College Prep, Roberto has returned to lead IDEA McAllen as the Principal. Roberto’s goal is to continue the legacy of success by design. Under his leadership, students will receive a world class education that truly prepares them for the rigor and challenge of life outside of high school, the first being COLLEGE! Roberto believes that when the students “See it through” anything is possible. Let’s go Tigers!

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Ashley Francis

Assistant Principal of Operations, IDEA McAllen

My name is Ashley Francis, and I am the Assistant Principal of Operations at IDEA McAllen! I began my career with IDEA Public Schools at IDEA McAllen as a Founding, Kindergarten Teacher. I worked with 5- and 6-year-old Tigers on building a strong foundational education in reading, language and math.

In 2015 I transitioned into the role of Academic Counselor where I organized and led many large buckets that included STAAR Testing, ELL/ 504 student support, Social Emotional support for students, Persistence, student events, parent events and much, much more! In 2018 I decided to take on a challenge and transitioned into the role of Assistant Principal of Instruction for Pre-K and Kindergarten. During this time, I worked alongside 2 of the most amazing instructional teams, students and parents! I enjoyed being in the classrooms with students, supporting their teachers to ensure a super education! I found my love for Operations, so in 2019 I transitioned into the role of Assistant Principal of Operations for IDEA McAllen. In the Operations Team we lead office daily functions, breakfast and lunch, 100% classroom set up, transportation, technology, attendance and more! I am proud to say that I work alongside the most dedicated and hardworking individuals. The Operations Team’s #1 goal is to eliminate obstacles for our teachers and students, so they can focus on providing 5-star education in the classroom! GO TIGERS!

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IDEA's 2022-23 Student Application is now live!

We are excited to announce we are accepting applications for schools across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Cincinnati. Follow the button below to get the latest and greatest information about our application process, grade levels, and how to find a campus near you.