Every year, H-E-B searches the state to find those who epitomize the duty of educator. These teachers, principals, and school districts are then honored with accolades and cash prizes during the Excellence in Education Awards.

How do they find the winners? They’re nominated by community members and the San Antonio-based grocery chain is now accepting applications. Click here to submit. Once nominated, educators have until Dec. 6 to complete an optional online application regarding their education philosophy and methods.

A team of judges will review the applications to determine the semi-finalists. From that pool, judging panels select finalists from each category to award cash prizes. Teacher and principal finalists will be invited to Houston on May 12-13 for the final award ceremony. Eight educators, six teachers and two principals, will receive larger cash prizes totaling more than $400,000.

Teachers are selected according to three categories: the Rising Star Award which honors teachers with less than three years of experience, the Leadership Award which honors teachers with 10 to 20 years in the classroom, and the Lifetime Achievement Award which salutes teachers with more than 20 years of experience.

Last year, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards gave away more than $800,000 in cash prizes, gift cards and grants. Since its start in 2002, H-E-B has awarded more than $8 million in prizes and has become the largest monetary award ceremony for educators in the state.

2014 was the first year since the award ceremony’s inception that a teacher, school, or principal in the San Antonio metro area did not receive an education award.

 This story was originally published on Sept. 28, 2015.

*Top image: SAISD poetry teachers Tiffany Jenkins and Karri Ward pose for a photo during a workshop hosted by Naomi Shihab Nye at Lanier High School. Photo by Scott Ball.

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Joan Vinson

Former Rivard Report Assistant Editor Joan Vinson is a San Antonio native who graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She's a yoga fanatic and an adventurer at heart....

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