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Tom Torkelson Speaker Agent

Tom Torkelson

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Tom Torkelson

 Tom Torkelson Biography

Upon graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in economics in 1997, Tom joined Teach For America and taught fourth grade in Donna, Texas for three years, after which he successfully launched the IDEA Academy in 2000, serving as the first board president and founding principal. At 24 years of age, Tom was then Texas’ youngest-ever charter school founder. Since 2000, Tom has led the replication efforts of the original school. System-wide there are now more than 23,000 students enrolled in the 44 schools that comprise IDEA Public Schools.

The mission of IDEA Public Schools is to prepare students from underserved communities for success in college and citizenship. Over 93% of graduates are on college campuses across the nation, where they continue to receive support and guidance from IDEA.

By 2009, the U.S. News and World Report ranked IDEA Donna College Preparatory as the 13th best high school and second best charter high school in the nation. Also in 2009, IDEA Public Schools was the first-ever charter organization to be named the best school system in the state of Texas and received the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. Today, The Washington Post’s latest rankings of America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranked all seven of IDEA’s eligible College Preparatory high schools in the top 200 high schools nationwide and in the top 50 in Texas.

Tom has be widely recognized in a variety of publications, including being featured in 2009 by Time magazine as Wendy Kopp’s pick for the 100 most influential global citizens. Tom is the recipient of the prestigious Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership (2009), University of Michigan Ross Business School’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2010), the Freddy Fender Humanitarian Award (2008), and served as Chairman of the 2007 National Charter Schools Conference. Tom is often called upon to provide expert testimony to state and local officials on issues of education policy and school choice.

An avid runner and frequent Ironman triathlon competitor, Tom and his wife, Dr. Nina Lee Torkelson, live in the Rio Grande Valley with their three children, Lincoln, Liam, and Gwendolyn.

All American Speakers is a speakers bureau and booking agency providing information on booking Tom Torkelson for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Tom Torkelson speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau acts only as an entertainment broker/producer for corporate functions, private engagements and special events. All American Speakers Bureau does not claim or represent itself as the exclusive agent or management of Tom Torkelson or any artist on this website. Speaker fees are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Fees often vary based on a number of factors including: speakers schedule, supply and demand, length of presentation, location of event and other factors. Fee Ranges listed on this website are intended to serve only as a guideline. In some cases, the actual price quote may be above or below the stated range.

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