Two NISD educators are finalists for the prestigious H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, naming them among the best educators in Texas.
Terry Zablocki, a communication applications teacher at Warren High School, is a finalist in the Lifetime Achievement Award-secondary category; and Kimberly Reznicek, a reading specialist at Timberwilde Elementary School, is a finalist in the Rising Star Award category.
The announcements were made in two separate surprise presentations at their respective campuses.
After the real reason for the gathering at each of the schools was uncovered, the atmosphere was much like a Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes unveiling with balloons, cake, flowers, representatives from H-E-B including HEB Buddy, and well-wishers from the school and District offices.
“We are so proud of these two teachers,” said Dr. Brian T. Woods, superintendent. “These two teachers are strong examples of who we want to teach our children – individuals who are totally focused on their students, and who do what it takes to help them excel.”
Each teacher was presented with a $1,000 check for themselves and a second $2,500 check for their school.
They are among 4,500 nominations submitted this year by H-E-B customers, employees, and community members. A team of judges narrowed the field to 252 semifinalists and then 40 finalists.
The pair will travel to Austin on May 1 and will be interviewed by a panel of judges before the grand prize winners are announced. More than $500,000 will be awarded to educators and districts at the May 3 banquet, making the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards the largest monetary program for educators in the state.
For the Rising Star Award, teachers must have less than 10 years of classroom experience. One elementary and one secondary teacher will be selected as the state winner and each will receive a $5,000 cash prize, plus a $5,000 grant for his/her school. Teachers in the Lifetime Achievement Award category must have more than 20 years of classroom experience. One elementary and one secondary teacher are selected and each will receive a $25,000 cash prize, plus a $25,000 grant for his/her school.
The awards program was launched in 2002 in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators to honor outstanding educators. Northside ISD was named best district in the state in 2005, the first year awards were bestowed on districts.
Pictured (from l-r) are Superintendent Brian T. Woods, H-E-B representative Emma Solano, H-E-B representative Aaron Perez, H-E-B representative Brian Barrera, Lifetime Achievement finalist Terry Zablocki, H-E-B representative Jacob Ramos, and H-E-B representative Kimberly Harle.
Pictured (from l-r) are Rising Star finalist Kimberly Reznicek, H-E-B representative Kimberly Harle, Superintendent Brian T. Woods, H-E-B representative Vanity Asevedo, and H-E-B representative Cynthia Cortez.