Meet Our Superintendent
James Colbert Jr.
James Colbert, Jr. is a champion for children.
With nearly 30 years of diverse educational experience in multiple states, Mr. Colbert has a wealth of knowledge and is particularly skilled at implementing comprehensive plans that reflect the current and long-term needs of an organization and the community it serves. As a visionary with great interpersonal skills, Mr. Colbert is dedicated to building positive relationships with stakeholders and embracing civic and business community partnerships for the betterment of every organization he leads.
During his time in education, Mr. Colbert has held a variety of positions, including being a special education teacher, coach, high school assistant principal and principal. He also has Central Office experience as an operations director, area superintendent, assistant superintendent, superintendent and now a county superintendent.
Mr. Colbert joined Harris County Department of Education in 2014 as Superintendent, where he is responsible for programs and services supporting 25 districts in the third largest county in the country. These programs support educators, school districts, non-profit organizations and governmental entities each year.
Under his leadership, HCDE has grown and expanded and is now one of the largest providers of adult education in the state and directly impacts the education of an average of 100,000 students each year through various programs including early childhood education, afterschool programs, special schools for students with special needs and the first public recovery high school in Harris County. HCDE also supports districts with teacher recruitment and retention, school safety audits and training and records management, while saving districts close to $100 million each year through a national purchasing cooperative.
HCDE runs a unique business model using the smallest property tax in Harris County, grants and a fee-for-service structure to fund its operations and programs. Under Mr. Colbert’s leadership, HCDE has become renowned as a model for fiscal transparency and stewardship, leveraging every $1 of property taxes into $5 of services.
Mr. Colbert, a Virginia native, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Education in Administration from Texas State University. Mr. Colbert has been married to his wife, Angie, for more than 30 years and they have one son.