H-E-B announced today that it will postpone its annual Excellence in Education Awards process and celebration until 2022 in light of ongoing public health concerns. The largest monetary program for educators in the state, the Excellence in Education Awards will celebrate its 20th Anniversary upon its return for the 2021-22 school year.
“The highlight of the Excellence in Education Awards is our celebration weekend, so we want to ensure we have the opportunity to commemorate this milestone anniversary with an in-person event,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Vice President of Public Affairs, Environmental Affairs and Diversity. “Our top priority is taking care of Texas. With the continuing uncertainty surrounding large gatherings, we felt the best course of action would be to postpone and find another way to honor the many dedicated educators across the state this year.”
Continuing its commitment to education, the retailer plans to celebrate and honor Texas teachers in 2021 with special activations during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7, 2021). Follow H-E-B Excellence in Education on Facebook and Twitter for more information.
Since the program’s inception, H-E-B has awarded more than $13 million in funding to benefit outstanding Texas public schools, school boards, early childhood facilities, teachers, and principals. The 2020 Excellence in Education Awards was celebrated virtually due to the global pandemic, with the retailer awarding more than $400,000 in cash prizes during the virtual celebration.
About the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards
H-E-B launched the Excellence in Education Awards program in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators in 2002 as a positive way to support public education in Texas. It has become the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators.
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.