IDEA Public Schools names Waters as new leader in Tarrant County

brown wooden table and chairs
Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

IDEA Public Schools has announced the hire of Dr. Dionel C. Waters as the new executive director of IDEA Public Schools Tarrant County. 

In the role, Waters will oversee eight schools across four campuses, guiding IDEA’s mission and driving the success of its more than 3,000 students in Tarrant County.

“IDEA’s track record of success and its commitment to the best possible education experience for every student only underscored my decision to join IDEA Tarrant County’s exceptional team as executive director,” said Waters. “I am excited to continue positively impacting the lives of students across DFW, ensuring that every IDEA scholar is equipped with the tools to make a difference in our community and around the world.” 

Waters joins IDEA with more than 13 years of experience as an educator and school administrator, most recently with International Leadership of Texas (ILTexas), where he served as principal for three years at the Arlington K-8 campus before moving into the executive director role for its educator preparation program. During his time at ILTexas, Waters was recognized for achieving 95% staff retention, 90% parent satisfaction and 98% daily attendance, on a campus of more than 1,200 students. 

- FWBP Digital Partners -

“IDEA Tarrant County is always looking for talented and dedicated people who will enrich the lives of our students, bring a passion for education and deliver results for our campuses,” said Erich Holmsten, regional board president for IDEA Tarrant County. “We have an excellent leadership foundation and are confident that Dr. Waters will continue in the footsteps of our previous executive director, Ana Shropshire, in championing quality education for our students and building a robust charter school network in Tarrant County. We are excited to officially welcome him to the IDEA team.”

Waters graduated from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and child development. He holds a master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Michigan State University and a dual master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University. In 2018, he earned a Ph.D. in K-16 educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.

IDEA Public Schools first launched in Tarrant County in 2019 with the opening of IDEA Rise in West Fort Worth and IDEA Achieve in Haltom City. Since then, IDEA has expanded to eight schools across four campuses with the opening of IDEA Edgecliff in 2020 and IDEA Southeast in 2021. In total, IDEA Public Schools serves more than 3,000 students across Tarrant County.