The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program will mark its 20th anniversary with a year-long celebration featuring a statewide teacher appreciation tour, classroom wishlist fulfillments, H-E-B gift card giveaways, a virtual event and more than $100,000 in cash prizes. Since the program’s inception in 2002, 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.
H-E-B Excellence in Education will kick off the celebration by going the extra mile to visit educators in their schools and communities with the Texas Loves Teachers Tour. The Tour will caravan across the state visiting 50 public schools, school districts and early childhood education centers within 50 days. Each stop will include an appreciation event for school staff including $20,000 in gift cards to be given away every week from March 22 through the end of April. Public voting will determine the location of the 50 tour stops, so community members are encouraged to vote for their public school, public school district, and public or private early childhood facility at texaslovesteachers.com. Voting will conclude on February 28 at 11:59 p.m. with winners announced in early March.
As the Texas Loves Teachers Tour makes its way across the state, all certified Texas school teachers, principals, and public school districts, as well as public or private early childhood education centers will have the opportunity to enter-to-win more than $100,000 in cash prizes. One public school district will be randomly selected to receive $20,000 while one childhood education center will receive $10,000. The remaining $70,000 will be split among randomly selected teachers and principals. School districts, early childhood education centers, teachers and principals will be able to enter-to-win at texaslovesteachers.com from March 22 to April 30. Teachers and principals must provide a valid Texas Education Agency (TEA) identification number to be eligible to win. Cash prize winners will be announced during a virtual Tribute to Texas Teachers on May 8, 2021.
United by the shared purpose of honoring the critical role that teachers play in the success of Texas, H-E-B Excellence in Education continues to work closely with the #TeachersCan movement to develop teacher appreciation initiatives. A statewide movement supported by more than 125 businesses and organizations, #TeachersCan plans to launch a statewide fundraising initiative to fulfill teacher wish lists via the Donors Choose platform throughout 2021. H-E-B Excellence in Education and #Teachers Can will also work together to host the virtual Tribute to Texas Teachers on May 8, 2021.
The 20th Anniversary celebration will culminate with the 2022 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, which will return to the traditional nomination, application and selection process. Nominations are now open and will remain open until October 18, 2021, with a December 6, 2021 application deadline. The 2022 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards will award $430,000 to teachers, principals, school districts, school boards and early childhood education centers at a gala celebration in Austin, Texas on April 30, 2022.
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 $430,000. 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.