Today, H-E-B announced eight school districts and five early childhood facilities throughout Texas as finalists in the retailer’s 21st annual Excellence in Education Awards program. H-E-B is also recognizing five public school boards in the annual program to highlight the importance of strong leadership at the board level.
Since the program’s inception, H-E-B has awarded nearly $13 million in funding to benefit outstanding Texas public schools and Early Childhood facilities. This year, H-E-B will award a total of $90,000 to the finalists, who will go on to compete for even greater cash prizes at the statewide level. Each finalist in the district, early childhood, and school board category will each receive $5,000.
To determine statewide winners, a panel of judges visit each finalist to tour campuses and engage with administration, staff, parents, and community members.
Winners will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on Sunday, April 30 at the La Cantera Resort and Spa in San Antonio. The winning large district will receive $100,000; the winning small district receives $50,000; the winning early childhood facility will receive $25,000; and if selected–one or more school boards will receive up to a total of $25,000.
Forty teacher and principal finalists will be announced in February and March during a series of surprise visits to schools and classrooms across Texas.
The 2023 school district and early childhood finalists, as well as recognized school boards, are as follows:
LARGE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
- Arlington ISD
- Corpus Christi ISD
- Garland ISD
- Spring Branch ISD (Houston, Texas)
- Tomball ISD
SMALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS
- Corsicana ISD
- Fabens ISD
- Montgomery ISD
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FACILITIES
- Brighton Center (San Antonio)
- Del Valle ISD Child Development Center (Del Valle)
- Irene C. Cardwell Head Start and Pre-K (Del Rio)
- Pre-K Academy at West Avenue/North East ISD (San Antonio)
- The Child Development Center (Austin)
SCHOOL BOARD FINALISTS
- Edgewood ISD (San Antonio)
- Northside ISD (San Antonio)
- Texas City ISD
- Tomball ISD
- Tornillo ISD
About the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards
H-E-B asks customers, Partners (employees) and community members to nominate teachers, principals, districts, early childhood facilities and school boards in Texas. Each nominee is sent an invitation to complete an application online and is asked about their professional experiences, educational philosophies and achievements both in and out of the classroom.
A team of judges reviews the applications, narrowing the field to semi-finalists. From that pool, five regional judging panels comprised of former winners, administrators, and university and community leaders not affiliated with H-E-B select 40 teacher and principal finalists. Finalists and their schools receive a cash prize of $1,000 to $2,500, depending on category.
Three separate panels select eight school districts and five early childhood facilities as finalists, awarding $2,500 to $5,000 in cash prizes. Up to five school boards may also be recognized and awarded $5,000 towards the district they serve. Additionally, one or more school boards may receive a special judge’s award totaling up to $25,000. Site visits are conducted to determine winners.
Teacher and principal finalists are invited to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling more than $400,000. A statewide panel of judges, not affiliated with H-E-B, conducts a personal interview with each finalist to select winners.
Eight winners—two principals and six teachers—are announced along with two school districts, one large and one small, a public-school board and an early childhood facility, at a celebratory dinner.
Each winning principal—one elementary school and one high school—receives $10,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools. The winning large school district receives a $100,000 cash prize and the winning small school district receives $50,000. The winning early childhood facility receives $25,000 and a school board could be awarded up to $25,000.
The six winning teachers include one elementary and one secondary teacher in each of three categories:
The Rising Star Award—honors exceptionally promising teachers with less than 10 years of experience. These winners will each receive a $5,000 check for themselves and a $5,000 grant for their schools.
The Leadership Award—honors teachers with 10 to 20 years in the classroom. These winners will each receive a $10,000 check for themselves and a $10,000 grant for their schools.
The Lifetime Achievement Award—salutes teachers with more than 20 years of experience. These teachers will each receive $25,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools.