Education and Enrichment Leadership Team
Director of Adult Education
Stephanie Ross is the director of Adult Education at HCDE. Ross earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas Southern University and a Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix. She also holds a graduate certificate in project management from DeVry University. Prior to joining HCDE, Ross was campus director for Vista College in Beaumont. Her professional expertise includes business strategies; academic and workforce program development; and student recruitment and enrollment. She is a member of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the National Black MBA Association.
Director of Center for Grants Development
Gayla Rawlinson-Maynard is the director of Center for Grants Development at HCDE. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master's degree in sociology/social research from Sam Houston State University. Before joining HCDE in 1999, she was manager of the Funding Source at University of Houston. Rawlinson-Maynard's achievements and accomplishments include establishment of the Southeast Texas chapter of Grant Professionals Association. Her professional affiliations include Women Professionals in Government.
Director for Safe and Secure Schools
Ecomet Burley is the director of the Center for Safe and Secure Schools at HCDE. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Texas Tech University and a master's degree in public administration and supervision from Stephen F. Austin University. Before joining HCDE in 2015, he was superintendent at La Marque Independent School District. Burley's achievements and accomplishments include being a 30-year educator with 27 years in administration at all levels. He was also honored as the all-time best defensive tackle for the Texas Tech Red Raiders football team.
Lidia G. Zatopek
Director of Education Certification and Professional Advancement
Lidia G. Zatopek is the director of Education Certification and Professional Advancement at HCDE. Zatopek holds a bachelor's degree in Russian Studies and a master's degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of Houston. Before joining HCDE in 2001, she worked as the Principal Certification Academy manager at Houston ISD. Zatopek's achievements include being president of Texas Alternative Certification Association. Her professional affiliations include the National Association for Alternative Certification and the Texas Council of Women School Executives.
Director of the Research and Evaluation Institute
Darlene Breaux is the director of the Research and Evaluation Institute at HCDE. Breaux is a national trainer, former principal and special services coordinator who has served 19 years in education. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University and a master’s degree in educational management with principal certification from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Her credentials include certifications in both English as a second language and special education, and she is a member of Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society. She is a former board member of the Alief YMCA, and currently serves the community as a board member of Alief ISD.
Dr. Frances Watson-Hester
Senior Director of the Teaching and Learning Center
Frances Watson-Hester is the senior director of the Teaching and Learning Center at HCDE. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Grambling State University and master's degrees in counseling and administration from Texas Southern University. Before joining HCDE in 2015, Watson-Hester was a middle school principal at Lamar Consolidated ISD. Her achievements include being named principal of the year in 2008-2009.