A Texas-based charter school group has announced that educators from other states will serve as leaders at the two schools the organization is opening in Baton Rouge next year, one in north Baton Rouge, the other in south Baton Rouge.

Cecilia Aguilar and Deion Brown will serve as principals of the college prep section of these new schools, starting with sixth grade in 2018 and extending to 12th grade by 2024. Principals for the elementary school sections will be announced later.

Aguilar will work at IDEA Cortana College Preparatory near Cortana Mall in north Baton Rouge, while Brown will work at the IDEA Innovation campus southeast of LSU. Both facilities are under construction.

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Both Aquilar and Brown are the products of IDEA Public Schools’ principal-in-residence program. 

A native of Northern California, Aguilar has taught in middle and high school grades at several charter schools, including Aspire Academy. Aguilar has a Ryan Fellowship from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. For the past year and a half, she has done her principal residency at IDEA College North Mission in the Rio Grande Valley, where IDEA started

A native of Houston, Brown has previously served as principal at a KIPP charter school in Memphis. In 2014, he joined IDEA, joining its principal-in-residence program in preparation for launching a new school IDEA Eastside College in San Antonio in 2015. He moved to Baton Rouge in June to help with IDEA’s expansion in south Louisiana.

Both of IDEA’s Baton Rouge schools have five-year charters from the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. They plan to open with about 465 students each in 2018; IDEA’s contract allows it to eventually educate almost 7,400 students in Baton Rouge.

Charter schools are public schools run privately via contracts, or charters.

IDEA has grown rapidly since it was launched in the Rio Grande Valley. It runs 61 schools and educates 36,000 children, but expects to open 18 more schools in 2018. It has schools that have made national best high school lists. All of its schools so far are in the Rio Grande, Austin and San Antonio areas of Texas.

Follow Charles Lussier on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.