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McAllen ISD is a state finalist for two awards in the 20th annual H-E-B Excellence in Education awards, it was announced Monday, January 10, 2022.

McAllen ISD is a finalist in the categories of School Board/Leadership and Best Large District. 

It is the only school district in the Rio Grande Valley to be named a finalist in either category. The state winners will be announced April 30 in Austin. 

H-E-B announced that eight school districts and five early childhood facilities have been selected as finalists for the retailer’s Excellence in Education Awards program. H-E-B is also recognizing five public school boards to highlight the importance of strong leadership at the board level. 

Since the program’s inception, H-E-B has awarded more than $12 million in funding to benefit outstanding Texas public schools. This year, H-E-B will award a total of $82,500 to the finalists and school boards, who will go on to compete for even greater cash prizes at the statewide level. Each finalist in the district and early childhood categories, as well as the five recognized school boards, will receive $5,000; the three finalists in the small district category will receive $2,500. 

To determine overall statewide winners, a panel of judges visits each district, early childhood facility and school board, tours campuses and talks with administration, staff, parents, and community members. 

Winners will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on April 30 at the Fairmont Hotel in Austin. The winning large district will receive $100,000; the winning small district $50,000. An early childhood facility will receive $25,000. If selected, one or more school boards will receive up to a total of $25,000.

Forty teacher and principal finalists will be announced in February and March during a series of surprise visits to schools and classrooms across Texas. 

The 2022 school district and early childhood finalists, as well as recognized school boards, are as follows:


  • United ISD —Laredo, Texas
  • McAllen ISD — McAllen, Texas
  • Pasadena ISD — Pasadena, Texas
  • Klein ISD — Klein, Texas
  • Wylie ISD — Wylie, Texas 


  • Medina Valley — Castroville, Texas
  • Canutillo ISD — El Paso, Texas
  • Kerrville ISD – Kerrville, Texas 


  • Lone Star Early Childhood Center/New Braunfels ISD — New Braunfels, Texas
  • Bryan's House – Dallas, Texas
  • Melinda Webb School – Houston, Texas
  • Austin Achieve Public Schools – Austin, Texas  
  • Small Steps Nurturing Center – Houston, Texas


  • North East ISD – San Antonio, Texas
  • Alvin ISD — Alvin, Texas
  • Allen ISD — Allen, Texas
  • Frisco ISD – Frisco, Texas
  • McAllen ISD – McAllen, Texas 

About the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards
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. It has become the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators. 

H-E-B asks customers, Partners (employees) and community members to nominate teachers, principals, districts, early childhood facilities and school boards in Texas. 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 comprised of former winners, administrators, and university and community leaders not affiliated with H-E-B select 40 teacher and principal finalists. Finalists and their schools receive a cash prize of $1,000 to $2,500, depending on category.

 Three separate panels select eight school districts and five early childhood facilities as finalists, awarding $2,500 to $5,000 in cash prizes. Up to five school boards may also be recognized and awarded $5,000 towards the district they serve. Additionally, one or more school boards may receive a special judge’s award totaling up to $25,000. Site visits are conducted to determine winners. 

Teacher and principal finalists are invited to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling more than $400,000. A statewide panel of judges, not affiliated with H-E-B, conducts a personal interview with each finalist to select winners.

Eight winners — two principals and six teachers — are announced along with two school districts, one large and one small, a public school board and an early childhood facility, at a celebratory dinner. 

Each winning principal—one elementary school and one high school—receives $10,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools. The winning large school district receives a $100,000 cash prize and the winning small school district receives $50,000. The winning early childhood facility receives $25,000 and a school board could be awarded up to $25,000. 

The six winning teachers include one elementary and one secondary teacher in each of three categories:

The Rising Star Award — honors exceptionally promising teachers with less than 10 years of experience. These winners will each receive a $5,000 check for themselves and a $5,000 grant for their schools. 

The Leadership Award — honors teachers with 10 to 20 years in the classroom. These winners will each receive a $10,000 check for themselves and a $10,000 grant for their schools. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award — salutes teachers with more than 20 years of experience. These teachers will each receive $25,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools. 

About H-E-B
H-E-B, with sales of $32 billion, operates more than 420 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 116th anniversary this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience and lowest prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 137,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit HEB.com and the H-E-B Newsroom.