H-E-B today announced the statewide winners for the 19th annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, handing out more $430,000 in cash awards and grants to eight educators, two school districts, an early childhood agency and a public school board. The winners were announced during a virtual Toast to Texas Teachers organized by the #TeachersCan initiative in celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, and included surprise appearances from Matthew McConaughey, Eva Longoria, Matt Bonner and Kendra Scott.
The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards has given away more than $12 million in cash and grants to dedicated educators and schools across Texas since 2002. The following winners were selected from a pool of 58 finalists by judges who include former winners, school administrators, and university and community leaders.
The 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award Winners Are:
The Rising Star Category recognizes teachers with less than 10 years of experience. Winners received a $5,000 check for themselves and a $5,000 grant for their school.
- Rising Star Elementary: Gerardo Villegas Juarez, Charles Graebner Elementary School, San Antonio ISD
- Rising Star Secondary: Laura Dunham, Clear Lake High School, Clear Creek ISD
The Leadership Category honors teachers with 10 to 20 years in the classroom. Winners received a $10,000 check for themselves and a $10,000 grant for their school.
- Leadership Elementary: Morgan Castillo, Woodgate Intermediate School, Midway ISD
- Leadership Secondary: Porfirio Zamora, Veterans Memorial High School, Corpus Christi ISD
The Lifetime Achievement Category salutes teachers with more than 20 years of experience. Winners received $25,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their school.
- Lifetime Achievement Elementary: Diana Garcia, DeZavala Elementary School, San Marcos ISD
- Lifetime Achievement Secondary: Nicole Vickerman, R.C. Clark HIgh School, Plano ISD
Winning principals received $10,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for each of their schools.
- Principal Elementary: Dana Boyd, East Point Elementary School, Ysleta ISD
- Principal Secondary: Dr. Carlos Phillips II, Booker T. Washington High School & the High School for the Engineering Professions
The winning early childhood facility received a $25,000 cash prize.
- Lawson Early Childhood School, McKinney ISD
The winning public school board received a $25,000 cash prize.
- Mission Consolidated ISD, Mission
Small School District
The winning small school district received a $50,000 cash prize.
- Boerne ISD, Boerne
Large School District
The winning large school district received a $100,000 cash prize.
- Dallas ISD, Dallas
*For a full list of the 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education finalists, please visit https://www.heb.com/static-page/article-template/2020-eie-award-finalists
Photo/video asset links
Winner photos and videos: https://bit.ly/2020EIEWinners
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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.
H-E-B, with sales of $28 billion, operates more than 400 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 115th anniversary this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience and lowest prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 120,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit HEB.com and HEB.com/Newsroom.