Learn about the Team at Harris County Department of Education, including our County Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent/CFO, and Executive Director of Facilities.
James Colbert Jr. is an educational leader with a passion for students and a strong background in collaboration, communication and child advocacy. A visionary and systems-oriented thinker, Colbert is skilled at implementing comprehensive plans that reflect the current and long-term needs of an organization and is dedicated to building positive relationships with all stakeholders.
Colbert has more than 20 years of diverse educational experience in multiple states including being a special education teacher, coach, high school administrator, district administrator, superintendent and county superintendent.
Colbert joined Harris County Department of Education in 2014 as Superintendent, where he is responsible for programs and services that support 25 districts and benefit 1 million students, representing approximately 20% of the students in the state of Texas.
Colbert is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he competed in NCAA Division 1 athletics as a triple-jumper, and holds a Masters of Education Administration from Texas State University.
Dr. Jesus J. Amezcua is the assistant superintendent for Business Services at HCDE. Amezcua holds a bachelor's degree in business and accounting from Tarkio College, a master's degree in business administration, accountancy and logistics from Texas A&M International and a doctorate in education administration from Texas A&M University. Before joining HCDE in 2009, He worked as chief financial officer at Laredo Independent School District. Amezcua's achievements include earning multiple certificates of achievement for financial reporting and excellent budget document awards.
Rich Vela is the executive director of Facilities at HCDE. Vela earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in management from Texas A&M Commerce. Prior to joining HCDE, Vela served as assistant superintendent of ancillary services in Tomball ISD. He is an active member of the Texas Association of Latin Administrators and Superintendents, the Texas Association of School Officials and is an advisory committee member for Crime Stoppers.
Lewis is a Managing Director of Public Finance at U.S. Capital Advisors.
Marcus is a a partner at Orrick