The Texas Alternative Certification Association has elected Harris County Department of Education Director Lidia Zatopek as president-elect of the statewide organization. Zatopek will serve as vice president of the organization for two years followed by two years as president.
The association represents all alternative certification programs for educators in Texas, including those representing universities, school districts, counties, regional service centers and private programs which are Texas Education Agency approved educator preparation programs.
Zatopek has led alternative certification for both teachers and principals at Harris County Department of Education since 2011. The HCDE Teacher Alternative Certification program is a state-approved educator preparation program that recruits, trains, supports, and certifies qualified degreed professionals to become fully certified teachers. HCDE’s Principal Certification Academy provides career opportunities for teachers to become administrators and to earn the Texas Principal Certificate.
“I’m deeply honored to be voted in by the members to assume the position of president-elect,” Zatopek said. “I believe the development and support of effective teachers and principals is the primary goal and responsibility of educator preparation programs. Having effective, committed, high-quality educators at the campus level is one of the essential factors in closing the achievement gap for our students.”
Zatopek said the Texas Alternative Certification Association is committed to facilitating and advancing research, experimentation and evaluation of alternative routes to certification for educators. The association also serves as the voice for alternative certification in Texas to influence and recommend policies which impact it at the state level, she said.
“As president-elect, my goal is to work collaboratively with the members of the association’s executive committee for the improvement and enhancement of the quality of alternative routes to certification for educators in Texas,” Zatopek said.
Zatopek resides in northwest Houston in the Garden Oaks area. Prior to working at HCDE, she managed the alternative certification program at Houston Independent School District and led their principal certification academy.
About HCDE: Harris County Department of Education provides education services to the general public and 25 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, Early Childhood Intervention and Head Start programs. We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support. Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at www.hcde-texas.org.
Carol Vaughn, Communications/Media Relations Manager