Washington HS Principal wins H-E-B Excellence in Education Award

Booker T. Washington High School Principal Carlos Phillips has been named the H-E-B Excellence in Education Secondary Principal Award winner for 2020.

This year, Excellence in Education award winners were announced during a virtual “Toast to Texas Teachers” in celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week. The virtual event included surprise appearances from actors Matthew McConaughey and Eva Longoria, former NBA player Matt Bonner, and fashion designer Kendra Scott. 

Phillips, who was also the HISD Secondary Principal of the Year for 2019-2020, received a $10,000 cash prize and a $25,000 grant for Washington High School. Phillips was one of five finalists from across the state competing for the Secondary Principal Award.

“This is a very humbling feeling to be recognized for this prestigious award,” Phillips said. “There are many educators in our state who could have been selected, however, I am honored to be able to represent our great school district and such a historic school with amazing staff and students in this capacity.”

In February, Phillips was named HISD’s 2020 Secondary Principal of the Year when Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan made a surprise appearance in front of a large crowd of Washington High School students and staff. Representatives from H-E-B also made a surprise appearance at the event to inform Phillips that he was a finalist in Excellence in Education Awards competition.

“Dr. Phillips is an exceptional leader who exemplifies the hard work, dedication and resolve it takes to transform student outcomes,” Lathan said. “I’m incredibly excited for Dr. Phillips and his family. He has made HISD proud, and I’m excited to see him take Booker T. Washington High School to the next level of academic greatness.”

The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program was established in 2002 in partnership with the Texas Association of School Administrations to promote and support public education in Texas. It is now the largest monetary program celebrating passionate and innovative educators and school leaders across the state.

Phillips was named principal at Washington High School in 2015. He has been an educator for 20 years, serving as a special education teacher, disciplinary alternative education teacher and assistant principal. Phillips holds a doctoral degree in education leadership and cultural studies from the University of Houston.

Washington High School is in its 126th year of academic service. The Independence Heights neighborhood high school has received recognition for its drone and rocketry programs, which engage students in engineering, coding and construction of air and space crafts.