Know of an educator who deserves recognition for making a difference in the lives of their students and in their community? Submit the name of a teacher, principal, school district or early childhood facility today for a 2013 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. Nominations for the awards are being accepted online at www.heb.com/education through Dec. 7.

Through this program, public school campuses may also apply for a $15,000 Healthy Campus Grant to enhance or create programs that focus on health and wellness. Applications for Healthy Campus Grants are due by Nov. 9.

After nominations close, nominees will be sent an invitation to complete an online application to be used for judging purposes. Nominees are asked to provide written responses about teaching philosophy, learning experiences, and insights on issues facing educators in Texas. The deadline for applications is Jan. 11, 2013.

A nomination can place a teacher, principal, school district or early childhood education facility on the path toward winning cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. Last year, the H-E-B Excellence in Education gave out more than $800,000 in cash prizes, gift cards and grants. Since its inception in 2002, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program has awarded more than $6 million to Texas educators, schools and districts.

Nominations are not required for participation. Educators, school districts and early childhood facilities can go to www.heb.com/education and complete an application.

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 and early childhood facilities 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 select 40 teacher and principal finalists. Finalists and their schools receive a cash prize of $1,000 to $2,500, depending on category.

Two separate panels select eight school districts and five early childhood facilities as finalists, awarding $2,500 to $5,000 in cash prizes. Site visits are conducted to determine the winners.

Teacher and principal finalists are invited to Austin May 2-3 to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling more than $500,000. A statewide panel of judges conducts a personal interview with each finalist to select winners.

Eight winners — two principals and six teachers — will be announced along with two school districts, one large and one small, and an Early Childhood Facility, at a celebratory dinner on May 3.

Each winning principal—one elementary school and one high school—will each receive $10,000 in cash for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their schools. The winning large school district will receive a $100,000 cash prize and the winning small school district will receive $50,000. The winning Early Childhood Facility will receive $25,000.

The six winning teachers will 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.