Seventeen years ago Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama began what would become IDEA Public Schools as an after school program at Donna ISD. In 2017 IDEA Public Schools is planning to expand to over 60 schools including  elementary, middle and high schools.  IDEA  has school all over the Rio Grande Valley, Austin and San Antonio.   It boast the fact that every high school senior they have graduated has been accepted into a college or university.  Tom and IDEA Public Schools have been featured in  US News and World Report Best High Schools and The Washington Post