H-E-B recently named regional finalists for its 2016 Excellence in Education Awards. This year's group includes four TCTA members.
The finalists include:

Rising Star Elementary

  • Stephanie Stoebe, Teravista Elementary, Round Rock ISD
  • Sarah Aguirre, Colonies North Elementary, Northside ISD
  • Hilda Nanez, Green Valley Elementary, Galena Park ISD
  • Meghan Zigmond, H.G. Olsen Elementary, Port Aransas ISD
  • Jay Fisher, Howard Dobbs Elementary, Rockwall ISD

Rising Star Secondary

  • Rachel Foreman, Dripping Springs High School, Dripping Springs ISD
  • Jarrett Lipman, Claudia Taylor "Ladybird" Johnson High School, North East ISD
  • Bree Welter, Ross Sterling Middle School, Humble ISD
  • Yvette Nevarez, Alton Memorial Jr. High, Mission CISD, a TCTA member
  • Alexandra Edwards, Killeen High School, Killeen ISD

Leadership Elementary

  • Michelle Cardenas, Hillcrest Elementary, Del Valle ISD
  • Melinda Valdez, Henry Steubing Elementary, Northside ISD
  • Tammy Verstrate, LaVace Stewart Elementary, Clear Creek ISD
  • Adriana Whitwell, East Side Intermediate, Palacios ISD
  • Julie Levesque, Chapel Hill Elementary, Chapel Hill ISD

Leadership Secondary

  • Kristi Carruthers, Burnet High School, Burnet CISD, a TCTA member
  • Steve Davidson, Douglas MacArthur High School, North East ISD
  • Michelle Nelson‑Archer, Sartartia Middle School, Fort Bend ISD
  • Caleb Swaringen, IDEA College Preparatory McAllen, IDEA Public School
  • Martha Saucedo, Brady High School, Brady ISD, a TCTA member and current Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Elementary

  • Laurie Holmes, Popham Elementary, Del Valle ISD, a TCTA member
  • Cynthia Wallace, Dr. Joe Ward Elementary, Northside ISD
  • Lori Burton, Jean C Few Primary School, Jasper ISD
  • Marianne Mojica, Windsor Park Elementary, Corpus Christi ISD
  • Robin Higgs, Hilltop Elementary, Argyle ISD

Lifetime Achievement Secondary

  • Mark Misage, Westlake High School, Eanes ISD
  • Bryan Degner, Boerne Middle School North, Boerne ISD
  • Ann Linsley, Bellaire High School, Houston ISD
  • Bill McIntire, W.B. Ray High School, Corpus Christi ISD
  • John Gable, Thomas Jefferson High School, El Paso ISD

Principal Elementary

  • Betty Jenkins, Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy, Austin ISD
  • Mary Helen Cover, Rita Kay Driggers Elementary, Northside ISD
  • Dr. Michael Marquez, Margaret S. McWhirter Elementary, Clear Creek ISD
  • Yolanda Castillo, Graciela Garcia Elementary, Pharr‑San Juan‑Alamo ISD
  • Sandy Conklin, Samuel Beck Elementary, Northwest ISD

Principal Secondary

  • Dan Diehl, Bedicheck Middle School, Austin ISD
  • Delia McLerran, Young Women's Leadership Academy, San Antonio ISD
  • Angela Lundy‑Jackson, North Houston Early College High School, Houston ISD
  • Dr. Sandra Clement, Foy H. Moody High School, Corpus Christi ISD
  • Dr. Janice Lombardi, Trinidad "Trini" Garza Early College, Dallas ISD

​Finalists for school board and school district categories were named previously. Click here for more.

The statewide competition and awards banquet will be May 12-13 at La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, featuring keynote speaker Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

To determine 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. A separate panel of judges chooses teacher and principal winners based upon interviews held in person May 12. 

The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards gives away nearly $800,000 annually in cash, grants and gift cards.