As a result of their commitment to educating Every Child, Jennifer Collier, Spring Woods High School (SWHS) principal, Ryan Beeler, SWHS teacher, and Betsy Young, Memorial High School (MHS) teacher were recently named H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards individual finalists.
Collier was recognized as a Secondary Principal finalist, Beeler was named a Rising star Secondary Teacher finalist and Young was named a Leadership Secondary Teacher finalist. Each finalist was surprised at their campus with the recognition and received a $1,000 check.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from H-E-B as it reflects the incredible work that the staff does at SWHS,” said Collier. “Their relentless efforts to ensure Every Child is successful makes me proud to lead such an incredible community.”
Forty teacher and principal finalists have been announced from schools across Texas. The finalists are invited to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling more than $400,000. A panel of judges conducts a personal interview with each finalist to select the winners in each category.
Winners will be announced during the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on April 30 in San Antonio, Texas. Each winning principal receives $10,000 for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools. The winning teachers include one elementary and one secondary teacher in each of three categories:
- The Rising Star Award: Winner receives $5,000 for themselves and a $5,000 grant for their schools.
- The Leadership Award: Winner receives $10,000 for themselves and a $10,000 grant for their schools.
- The Lifetime Achievement Award: Winner receives $25,000 for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools.
“I am so appreciative that H-E-B seeks to support educators and students throughout Texas, and this award is truly an honor because I know how many great and worthy teachers I am among,” said Young. “As an English teacher, my goal is always to meet students where they are and take them as far as they can go in reading, writing, and critical thinking. Receiving this award from H-E-B is just a little extra motivation to go the extra mile for them.”
Each year, teachers, principals, districts, early childhood facilities and school boards are nominated by community members. 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 select 40 teacher and principal finalists.
“I am extremely grateful to be recognized for this award,” said Beeler. “It means so much for someone to take the time to nominate me and encourages me to work even harder for my students every day.”
Spring Branch ISD was also selected as a 2023 Large District Finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. The winning large district will also be announced during the awards ceremony on April 30.