On Wednesday, March 25, H-E-B representatives stopped by Sam Houston Elementary to present teacher Vanessa Rincones with statewide recognition for her efforts in the classroom and announcing her as a finalist in the Rising Star – Elementary Teacher category of the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards.
“I’m completely overwhelmed and shocked,” said Rincones. “I just never expected it. I knew that we were having photographers come in from the district, so I prepared my kids and told them that we’d have visitors. Then I saw everybody else, and I was completely thrown off. I’m extremely grateful. It’s a great honor.”
A first grade Dual Language teacher, she is one of five finalists from across the state. Representatives from H-E-B visited her classroom to witness her interaction with students first-hand and present both her and the campus with a check for $1,000.
A prestigious selection, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards celebrates public school educators, professionals and districts whose initiatives and leadership inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.
“Vanessa Rincones is an outstanding educator, and we are proud to celebrate her selection as a finalist in the elementary teacher category of the H-E-B Excellence Awards,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “Her recognition speaks to her passion of creating an engaging classroom environment that encourages academic achievement and addresses the individual needs of each student.”
This honor is designed to recognize teachers that have demonstrated leadership in their classroom and the campus they serve. H-E-B will award a total $1,000 to each of the recognized educators. Their respective school will also receive $1,000.
The winning educator will be invited to compete against other educators for the chance to win greater cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Overall statewide winners will be announced in May. A panel of judges will select winners through various criteria. Their focus will be to give prominence to the best practices in the state.
With more than $800,000 in cash prizes awarded annually to deserving teachers, principals, school districts and early childhood facilities and school boards, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards is the largest monetary recognition program for educators in Texas and one of the largest in the nation.
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.