Attorney Eric Dick of Dick Law Firm in Houston has always been known as a legal professional with unparalleled abilities and an intentional focus on ethics. It is likely that these attributes and many more of his agreeable characteristics helped in his selection to the
President role of the Board of Trustees of Harris County Department of Education.
NEW LEADERSHIP AT HARRIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Candidates selected to the Board of Trustees must be of good moral character and well-known throughout the community’s schools. Favored candidates will have a strong background in legalities, problem-solving, or education, as well as a college education. An individual must also obtain Board membership through his or her own accord, not backed by any labor unions or corporations that may attempt to influence the seat selection.
The Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees voted Dec. 18 to replace trustees George Moore, Position 1, Precinct 2 and Josh Flynn, Position 4, Precinct 3 with Amy Hinojosa and Andrea Duhon, respectively. Both Moore, board vice president, and Flynn, president, had tendered their resignations prior to the meeting. “I give my sincere appreciation to Dr. George Moore and Josh Flynn for their service to the students and citizens of Harris County,” HCDE School Superintendent James Colbert Jr. said. “Dr. Moore is an outstanding man and has left a significant fingerprint on this organization as a fierce advocate for the underserved and as a great supporter for our 1,100 employees. Mr. Flynn was a good leader who is very well read, extremely efficient and took pride in his leadership post, and I wish him well in his new endeavors.” Hinojosa, a Pasadena resident, was sworn into office shortly after her appointment. She is a 16-year, oil-and-gas project manager. She volunteers with an education advocacy group called ProUnitas. “I’m passionate about serving my community and about improving student outcomes,” said Hinojosa. “I look forward to the work ahead, and I’m excited.” Duhon, a Katy resident, is a small business financial advisor who has a record for advocating for public education programs such as Head Start. HCDE currently serves 1,250 Head Start children and families in northeast and east Harris County. “I look forward to serving the community on behalf of the students of Harris County,” Duhon said. At the meeting, the board also named Eric Dick as president and Danyahel “Danny” Norris as vice president. Dick called the new trustee appointments “a breath of fresh air.”
WHAT DOES THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES DO?
The Board of Trustees is a dedicated group of community leaders which oversees the operation of the HCDE. Members are elected to staggered six-year terms from each of the four County Commissioner precincts, with the remaining three members being elected at large.
As a governmental body, the Board of Trustees may only take action by a majority vote conducted at a legally called public meeting. Meetings are typically held on the third Tuesday of every month at 1:00 p.m. at 6300 Irvington Boulevard in Houston, with additional special meetings called when needed. All meetings of the Board of Trustees are open to the public.
To be elected as a member of the Board of Trustees, candidates must meet several criteria, including:
- Be a qualified Harris County voter
- Have been a resident of Harris County for six months
- Be of good moral character
- Be of good education and sympathy with public free schools
- Not be connected with any public school distric
WHAT DOES HCDE DO?
HCDE directly operates the following alternative schools:
- HCDE Academic and Behavior Schools - Two campuses in Houston, East and West. They were previously known as Adaptive Behavior Centers (ABC). As of 2001 all school districts in the county may send students to these schools.
- For students with disabilities that affect their classroom behavior or performance, they serve ages 5–22.
Fortis Academy - unincorporated area, in
- It was scheduled to open in 2018 and is the first recovery high school to open in Harris County.
Highpoint School East - unincorporated area
- It enrolls children who were expelled from regular public school districts and/or adjudicated delinquent by youth courts. It serves grades 6-12.
The county previously operated Highpoint North, an alternative school for children with behavior problems, located at the current Fortis Academy location.
As of 2001 seven school districts sent students with behavior problems to Harris County Highpoint Schools.