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H-E-B Names Winners In 2020 Excellence In Education Awards

H-E-B Excellence in Education

H-E-B has recognized 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. H-E-B Excellence in Education

The winners were announced recently 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:


Rising Star 

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 


Lifetime Achievement 

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


School Principal

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 and the High School for the Engineering Professions


Early Childhood 

The winning early childhood facility received a $25,000 cash prize.

Lawson Early Childhood School, McKinney ISD

School Board

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, visit

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. 

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