H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards

H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards
Posted on 02/11/2020
Amanda Hawes with Students

Amanda Hawes has been named a finalist for the 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, spotlighting her as one of the best educators in Texas.

H-E-B’s Excellence in Education is the largest monetary awards program for educators in Texas, and among the largest in the nation. The honor was kept a surprise from Ms. Hawes, who learned she was a finalist when H-E-B representatives visited her classroom with cookies and flowers. 

Amanda Hawes was presented with a $1,000 check for herself and a $1,000 check for her school, H.T. Faulk Elementary. She is one of five elementary teachers in Texas to be named finalist for The Rising Star Award, which honors teachers with less than 10 years of experience. 

All finalists are invited to San Antonio on May 2-3 to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling $430,000.

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.

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