MIDLAND, Texas – IDEA Public Schools has announced plans to expansion into the Permian Basin of Texas and that an educator who got her start in the Rio Grande Valley will head the project.

Bethany Solis has been named executive director of IDEA Permian Basin. A product of the Teach for America program, Solis first joined IDEA in 2005 as a second-grade teacher at IDEA Donna. She was a founding academy Principal for IDEA Mission, and in 2012, become the first director of leader development to launch IDEA’s Principal in Residence Program.

Bethany Solis

Solis and her team led the Principal in Residence program and other organization-wide leader development experiences, from teacher leadership to mentor principalship.

In an interview with the Rio Grande Guardian, Solis said IDEA will open schools in Midland starting in 2020 and Odessa in 2021. Eventually, she said, IDEA will serve roughly 10,000 students across 14 schools on seven campuses.

“We plan to do something in the Permian Basin that IDEA hasn’t really done before—several of our schools will be turning around existing schools that are chronic under performers and will be creating new proof points of what all children are capable of,” Solis said.

She said IDEA’s presence in the Permian Basin area comes in response to community needs and bold leadership from both Midland ISD and the Texas Education Agency. She said IDEA is committed to partnering with Midland ISD to operate exceptional schools within the district, as well as traditional independent charter schools.