HISD Has Three Finalists for 2013 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards

Teacher and two principals to compete on a statewide level for $500,000 in prizes

HSPVA Principal Dr. R. Scott Allen with H-E-B Montrose location manager Shannon Simpson

Educators from three HISD campuses have been named finalists in the 2013 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program, spotlighting them as some of the best educators in Texas.

The finalists from HISD are: 

  • Burbank Middle School teacher Dr. Mary Velasquez
  • The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Principal Dr. R. Scott Allen
  • Fondren Elementary School Principal Mike Walker

Dr. Velasquez was one of only three teachers to be named a finalist, which came with a $1,000 cash prize for her and $1,000 for her school. She was nominated in the “Lifetime Achievement, Secondary” category, which recognizes teachers with 20 years of classroom experience or more.

Walker and Dr. Allen are both finalists in the secondary principal category, and as such, they received a $1,000 check for themselves and a $2,500 check for their school.

Dr. Allen, who thought he was going to deliver a presentation to students in the auditorium on Feb. 26, was surprised by H-E-B representatives with balloons, cake, and flowers and the school’s mariachi band instead.

“It was nice to be rewarded for doing something I love to do,” he said. “I am blessed to be principal of a school that is so amazing. The thought of being eligible to win $25,000 for my kids and the campus is extraordinary.”

“H-E-B has a passion for education,” said H-E-B representative Martha Barrera, “and one of the things the H-E-B family believes in is giving back to educators, particularly teachers.”

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 winners will be announced on May 3 during a celebratory dinner at the Hilton in Austin. Two principals (one elementary, one secondary) and six teachers will be selected, along with two school districts (one large and one small), and an early childhood education facility. H-E-B will also recognize its Healthy Campus grant winners at that time.

Each winning principal will receive $10,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools. The winning large school district will receive a $100,000 cash prize and the winning small school district will receive $50,000. The winning early childhood facility will receive $25,000.

Each winning teacher will receive between $5,000 and $25,000 for themselves, and the same amount for their schools, depending on their category (Rising Star, Leadership, or Lifetime Achievement).