Every year, H-E-B honors educators across the state with their Excellence in Education Awards with awards for teachers, principals, school districts, school boards and early childhood schools. And a Plano teacher (who we all know are the best) made the list again this year.
Forty teachers from across the state are being surprised in their classrooms this month to announce that they are finalists for an Excellence in Education Award with a $1,000 personal check and a $1,000 check for their school. There are three categories for teachers, the Lifetime Achievement Award (20+
years experience), the Leadership Award (10-20 years experience), and The Rising Star Award (<10 years experience).
Finalists will also be invited to compete against other educators across the state in San Antonio on April 29 for the chance to win greater cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Six statewide teachers will be chosen, one for each category in elementary schools and one for each category in secondary schools.
Plano educator Christina Ferenschuetz, a teacher at Shepard Elementary School, was surprised on Tuesday in her classroom with flowers and cookies to announce her status as a finalist for the Leadership Award.
Ferenschuetz is an instructional specialist at Shepard, where she wears many hats including dyslexia therapy, coordinating 504 plans for the campus and mentoring new teachers. Before moving to become an instructional specialist, she taught third grade at Shepard for 15 years.
Ferenschuetz isn’t the first Planoite to land a spot on H-E-B’s list. Last year, fellow Plano educator from Dooley Elementary Susan Knighton was a finalist for the Lifetime Achievement Elementary award, which is given to teachers with more than 20 years of experience. In 2020, R.C. Clark High School educator Nicole Vickerman won the Lifetime Achievement Secondary Award, taking home a $25,000 check and $25,000 grant for her school. In 2018, Beaty Early Childhood School was a finalist for the Early Childhood Award.