(AUSTIN) — On Sunday, May 7, H-E-B announced statewide winners of the 16th annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards during an awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Austin. During the ceremony, H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt personally handed out $430,000 in cash awards and grants, and congratulated eight educators, two school districts, one early childhood agency and a public school board for being among the best in Texas. The program has given away more than $8.5 million in cash and grants since 2002.
Robert Gates delivered the keynote address to a ballroom packed with hundreds of educators, elected officials, community leaders and H-E-B employees. Gates formerly served as the United States Secretary of Defense, CIA Director and President of Texas A&M University.
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 2017 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: Ricky Davis, Schertz Elementary, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD
- Rising Star Secondary: Richard Embrick, David Crockett Middle School, Fort Bend 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: Raul Muñoz, George Evans Elementary, Corpus Christi ISD
- Leadership Secondary: Jamie Flint, Spring Woods High School, Spring Branch 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: Rhonda Peña, Bryan Elementary, Mission CISD
- Lifetime Achievement Secondary: Michael Bailey, Omar Bradley Middle School, North East ISD
Winning principals received $10,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for each of their schools.
- Principal Elementary: Dr. Myrtha Villarreal, Colonel Santos Benavides Elementary, United ISD
- Principal Secondary: Julie Diaz, Travis High School, Fort Bend ISD
The winning early childhood facility received a $25,000 cash prize.
The winning public school board received a $25,000 cash prize.
- Fort Bend ISD, Sugar Land
Small School District
The winning small school district received a $50,000 cash prize.
- Alamo Heights ISD, San Antonio
Large School District
The winning large school district received a $100,000 cash prize.
- Grand Prairie ISD, Grand Prairie
*For a full list of the 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education finalists, please visit heb.com/education.
Links to photos:
Photos of winners at the banquet: http://bit.ly/2017EIEGALA
Photos of finalists during surprise visits: http://bit.ly/EIE2017SURPRISE
Headshots of all finalists: http://bit.ly/2017EIEFINALISTS
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@HEB awards $430K to 2017 Excellence in Education winners from across Texas during #HEBEducation awards ceremony
@HEB recognizes outstanding public educators in TX during 2017 Excellence in Education awards ceremony #HEBEducation
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 more than $23 billion, operates more than 380 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2015. 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 at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 100,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit heb.com.