January 27, 2023 by HCDE Communications
Harris County Department of Education has named Yolanda Pyrtle as the new director of the Research and Evaluation Institute (REI).
Pyrtle first joined HCDE in 2019 as a research coordinator before being promoted to research manager, overseeing select divisions’ data and survey needs.
“I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to lead the great team of REI,” said Pyrtle. “They are an amazing group of individuals with a wide variety of skill sets. I look forward to continuing the work of supporting HCDE and its divisions as we carry out the mission to serve Harris County school districts, educators, and students.”
In her new role, Pyrtle will focus on increasing the visibility of REI to highlight its value for other divisions and stakeholders.
“I’m excited about Yolanda and her vision for the REI team,” said Assistant Superintendent of Education and Enrichment CJ Rodgers. “She fully understands the role that data and research play in making critical decisions for the organization. When you couple her expertise with her problem-solving prowess, grit, hard work, and sheer love for Harris County Department of Education, it is clear why she should be the next leader for REI.”
Pyrtle’s background is in education, prevention, research, program design, program evaluation, and community outreach, and she has worked for organizations such as MD Anderson Cancer Center and UT Health.
Pyrtle holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Tougaloo College and a Master of Science in public health education and promotion from Mississippi State University and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.