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H-E-B Awards To Educators, School Districts Total $480K

H-E-B educators
JJ Watt, keynote speaker of the event

Six teachers, two counselors, two principals, two school districts, one early childhood facility and a public school board are among the winners of H-E-B’s 22nd annual Excellence in Education Awards, receiving a total of $480,000 in cash awards and grants.

The winners were revealed during a ceremony May 5 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston. 

Since 2002, the program has awarded more than $13 million in cash and grants to Texas teachers and schools, and is the largest of its kind in Texas and the nation.

The 2024 H-E-B Excellence in Education recipients are:

  • Rising Star Elementary – Michelle Cavazos, Blanca E. Sanchez Elementary, McAllen Independent School District;
  • Rising Star Secondary – Amanda Byars, Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Booker T. Washington, Midland ISD;
  • Leadership Elementary – Shelley Jeoffroy, Otis Brown Elementary, Irving ISD;
  • Leadership Secondary – Christian De La Cruz, Obra D. Tompkins High School, Katy ISD;
  • Lifetime Achievement Elementary – Veronica Stapper, Glenmore Elementary, San Angelo ISD;
  • Lifetime Achievement Secondary – Melba Tijerina, Weslaco High School, Weslaco ISD;
  • Counselor Elementary – Roxanne McCabe, Sam Houston Elementary, Galena Park ISD;
  • Counselor Secondary – Julie Minnis, Dr. Hector P. Garcia Middle School, Northside ISD;
  • Principal Elementary – Michelle Fine, John Glenn Elementary, Northside ISD;
  • Principal Secondary – Amanda Ramos, Sellers Middle School, Garland ISD;
  • Early Childhood – M. Rivas Primary Discover Academy, Donna ISD;
  • School Board – Plainview ISD in Plainview;
  • Small School District – Gregory-Portland ISD in Portland; and
  • Large School District – Galena Park ISD in Houston.

About the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards

H-E-B asks customers, employees and community members to nominate teachers, counselors, principals, districts, early childhood facilities and school boards in Texas. 

Each nominee is sent an invitation to complete an application online, answering questions about their professional experiences, educational philosophies and achievements in and out of the classroom/district.

A team of judges reviews the applications, narrowing the field to semifinalists. From that pool, five regional judging panels composed of former winners, administrators and university and community leaders not affiliated with H-E-B select 50 teacher, counselor 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 $5,000 in cash prizes to each. Up to five school boards may also be recognized and awarded $5,000 toward the district they serve. 

In addition, 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, principal and counselor finalists are invited to compete on a statewide level for the larger cash prizes. The judges then interview each to select winners.

The winning large school district receives a $100,000 cash prize, with the small school district honoree getting $50,000. The early childhood facility recipient receives $25,000 and a school board could receive 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. They each receive a $5,000 check for themselves and a $5,000 grant for their schools.
  • The Leadership Award recognizes teachers with 10-20 years in the classroom. The winners each receive a $10,000 check, as well as a $10,000 grant for their schools.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award salutes teachers with more than 20 years of experience. The honorees will each receive $25,000 in cash for personal use and a $25,000 grant for their schools. 

The two winning counselors – one elementary and one secondary – receive $10,000 in cash and $15,000 grant for their school. 

Each winning principal receives $10,000 in cash, as well as a $25,000 grant for their schools.

Read more independent store news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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