2019 Excellence in Education Finalists

The wait is over! The 2019 Excellence in Education regional finalists have been announced. Each finalist's love of learning and leadership have made them all winners to the students they inspire every day.

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 May 5, 2019 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.

The 2019 finalists are as follows:

Teachers


Central Texas

Rising Star Elementary:
Mark Rogers | Austin Achieve Public Schools | Austin Achieve Public Schools

Rising Star Secondary:
David Walker | Liberal Arts and Science Academy HS | Austin ISD

Leadership Elementary:
Molly McFee | Dripping Springs Elementary | Dripping Springs ISD Gearing

Leadership Secondary:
Shamaa Lakshmanan | The Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders | Austin ISD

Lifetime Achievement Elementary:
JoLisa Hoover | Officer Leonard Reed Elementary | Leander ISD

Lifetime Achievement Secondary:
Carol Reese | West Ridge Middle School | Eanes ISD

Principal Elementary:
Kathy Cawthron | Claude Berkman Elementar Arts Integration Academy | Round Rock ISD

Principal Secondary:
David Pierce | Jack C. Hays High School | Hays CISD

San Antonio

Rising Star Elementary:
Rebekah Ozuna | Wilbur J Knox Early Childhood Education Center | San Antonio ISD

Rising Star Secondary:
Anna Olguin | Longfellow Middle School | San Antonio ISD

Leadership Elementary:
Lauren Bain | Carl Schurz Elementary | New Braunfels ISD

Leadership Secondary:
Erika Guerrero | Alamo Heights High School | Alamo Heights ISD

Lifetime Achievement Elementary:
Andrea Greimel Carvajal | Early Childhood Education Center | San Antonio ISD

Lifetime Achievement Secondary:
Jodi Ramos | Coke Stevenson Middle School | NISD

Principal Elementary:
Dr. Traci Smith | Stonewall Flanders Elementary | Harlandale ISD

Principal Secondary:
Kathy Bieser | Advanced Learning Academy | San Antonio ISD

Houston

Rising Star Elementary:
Leslyn Jacks | Katy Elementary | Katy ISD

Rising Star Secondary:
Ryan Beeler | Spring Woods High School | Spring Branch ISD

Leadership Elementary:
Heather Villaloboz | E.C. Mason Elementary | Alvin ISD

Leadership Secondary:
Dr. Nghia Le | Booker T. Washington HS & High School for Engineering Professionals | Houston ISD

Lifetime Achievement Elementary:
Karen Naiser | Bay Colony Elementary School | Dickinson ISD

Lifetime Achievement Secondary:
Carrie Teague | Taylor Career and Technology Center | Beaumont ISD

Principal Elementary:
Dr. Doreen Martinez | Memorial Parkway Elementary School | Katy ISD

Principal Secondary:
Laura Gomez | South Houston Intermediate | Pasadena ISD

South Texas

Rising Star Elementary:
Vanessa Gruner | JC Kelly Elementary | Hidalgo ISD

Rising Star Secondary:
Tasha K. Jones | Tuloso Midway High School | Tuloso Midway ISD

Leadership Elementary:
Celena Miller | Cesar Chavez Elementary | Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

Leadership Secondary:
Ryan Piwetz | Port Aransas High School | Port Aransas ISD

Lifetime Achievement Elementary:
Rita Perez | Pearson Elementary | Mission CISD

Lifetime Achievement Secondary:
Rachelle Downey | Lamar Academy | McAllen ISD

Principal Elementary:
Irma Davis | Dishman Elementary | Harlingen Consolidated ISD

Principal Secondary:
Rose Longoria | James Pace Early College High School | Brownsville ISD

North Texas

Rising Star Elementary:
Joseph Parthemore | Cannon Elementary School: GCISD STEM School | Grapevine Colleyville ISD

Rising Star Secondary:
Bushra Haq | Lloyd V. Berkner High School | Richardson ISD

Leadership Elementary:
Katherine Miller | Cunningham Elementary School | Wichita Falls ISD

Leadership Secondary:
Kyle Christensen | Bill R. Johnson Career Technical Education Center | Crowley ISD

Lifetime Achievement Elementary:
Marcie Conrad | JC Thompson Elementary School | Northwest ISD

Lifetime Achievement Secondary:
Jane Smith | Centennial High School | Frisco ISD

Principal Elementary:
Israel Rivera | José "Joe" May Elementary School | Dallas ISD

Principal Secondary:
Jay Barrett | Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning | Amarillo ISD

School Districts


Large

Austin ISD | Austin, TX

Burleson ISD | Burleson, TX

Klein ISD | Klein, TX

Socorro ISD | El Paso, TX

United ISD | Laredo, TX

Small

Canutillo ISD | El Paso, TX

Roma ISD | Roma, TX

Stephenville ISD | Stephenville, TX

Early Childhood Education Facilities


Crockett Early Education School/Grand Prairie ISD | Grand Prairie, TX

Grace England Early Childhood & Prekindergarten Center | Houston, TX

Bonham Prekindergarten | San Marcos, TX

The House of Tiny Treasures | Houston, TX

Child Inc. | Austin, TX

School Boards


Grapevine Colleyville ISD | Grapevine, TX

Corsicana ISD | Corsicana, TX

Socorro ISD | El Paso, TX

McAllen ISD | McAllen, TX

Del Valle ISD | Del Vale, TX