Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D.San Antonio (March 27, 2018) – IDRA President & CEO Dr. Marí­a “Cuca” Robledo Montecel has announced her intention to retire in January 2019. The board of directors accepts this news with regret – and with gratitude for her 42 years of remarkable service to IDRA, including 26 years as its leader.

Cuca’s lifetime concern with youth has provided inspiration and vision for many communities across the country. During her leadership tenure, Dr. Robledo Montecel pioneered research on school dropouts and English learner education; guided our school finance expertise to influence policy, litigation and public engagement; channeled clarity and passion in the resistance to privatization threats to public schooling; shaped the preparation of a new generation of teachers for science, technology, math and special education who are serving in high-need school districts; strengthened home-school-community connections from early childhood education to college readiness; and steered the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program to make a visible difference in the lives of more than 671,000 children, families and educators.

Armed with the legacy of IDRA’s founding principle that all children must have access to equitable and excellent education, she carried IDRA into a new era. She crafted a comprehensive change model, the Quality Schools Action Framework, which became the ground on which all IDRA work stands. Rather than selling silver bullets or life rafts, she set IDRA’s focus on system change among the adults in schools, policy chambers and community halls to keep the promise to children of a quality public education so that they may find their fullest future and fulfill it.

Thanks to Dr. Robledo Montecel, IDRA’s work reimagines what is possible and leverages its national voice for action and change in ways that benefit all children.

We extend our appreciation for her service and deep commitment. We are confident that IDRA is in a strong position to move forward under new leadership. She will leave behind not only a legacy of her own but a fiscally sound organization that next month will celebrate its 45th anniversary.

The IDRA Board of Directors has named Azzani Search Consultants to conduct the search for candidates beginning immediately. Azzani Search Consultants comes highly praised for their work. Our board is pleased to be working with them in this search process to identify the next leader to move forward IDRA’s mission to secure equal educational opportunity for every child.

Dr. Robledo Montecel previously announced her decision to step down in 2019. She will remain in her role during the search and transition to a new leader. She also has accepted the IDRA board’s request to serve as President Emeritus after her retirement.

We know that the best referrals are personal and welcome our network’s leads and referrals. If you know someone who might be interested, please reach out to Eunice Azzani at eazzani@azzanisearch.com.

# # #

Media Contact: Christie L. Goodman, APR, at IDRA, 210-444-1710; christie.goodman@idra.org