H-E-B announced in mid-January that eight school districts–including two in Central Texas–and five school boards–including one in Central Texas–have been selected as finalists for the retailer’s 2017 Excellence in Education Awards program. 

Lake Travis ISD and Hutto ISD were among the three small school districts selected as finalists. The other small district was Alamo Heights ISD in San Antonio. The five large school districts selected were Allen ISD, Brownsville ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Northwest ISD in Fort Worth and Socorro ISD in El Paso.

The Dripping Springs ISD school board was among five school boards selected. The remaining finalists were Harlingen ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD and Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD.

Since the program’s inception, H-E-B has awarded more than $8.5 million in funding to benefit outstanding Texas public schools. This year, H-E-B will award a total of $85,000 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 large 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 May 7. The winning large district will receive $100,000; the winning small district $50,000. If selected, one or more school boards will receive up to a total of $25,000.

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