During the 21st annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on April 30 in San Antonio, Jennifer Collier, Spring Woods High School (SWHS) principal, was named the 2023 Secondary Principal, and Ryan Beeler, SWHS environmental science teacher, was named the 2023 Rising Star Secondary Teacher.
Collier and Beeler were named as finalists for their respective awards in March. They competed against 58 principal and teacher finalists across Texas and took part in personal interviews with a panel of judges, who ultimately selected them as winners.
“This award is really about the students and staff,” said Collier. “When applying, many of the questions allowed me to elaborate and highlight their incredible work and success, from the way they teach, to how they compete and perform. The narrative of this award was really about their stories.”
Similarly, Beeler is honored to receive the award and is excited to see SWHS recognized for its amazing students and staff. He is inspired by his students and colleagues, who continually support him.
“One of my greatest joys as an educator is to see that spark in a student’s eye when they figure out a concept or learn something new. That spark always motivates me,” said Beeler. “I am also motivated by my colleagues at SWHS. I work with exceptional individuals that are committed to our students. We are all constantly learning from each other. They make it easy to come to work every day.”
The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards strive to honor outstanding public school professionals who go the extra mile for their students and their communities and thank them for their dedication and commitment.
Each year, teachers, principals, districts, early childhood facilities and school boards are nominated by community members. Each nominee is sent an invitation to complete an application online and is asked about their professional experiences, educational philosophies and achievements in and out of the classroom.
During this year’s ceremony, $430,000 in cash awards and grants were awarded to eight educators, two school districts, one early childhood school and a public school board. Since 2002, the program has awarded more than $13 million in cash and grants to Texas schools and educators.
As a Secondary Principal winner, Collier will receive $10,000 for herself and a $25,000 grant for SWHS. Beeler will receive $5,000 for himself and a $5,000 grant for his campus.
Collier notes that she is excited to invest the grant in SWHS and continue the incredible work happening at the campus.
“I am driven to continue the work at SWHS because of the amazing students and community I serve,” said Collier. “I believe that all students can learn at high levels. I also believe that Every Child possesses a unique set of strengths and gifts that need to be highlighted and enhanced. Our job is to make sure that Every Child is important, matters, and has an opportunity to shine!”
Beeler hopes to continue giving students hands-on learning opportunities and instill how fascinating science can be through their pocket prairie, infiltration labs, field trips to national parks and more.
“All learning should be ‘sticky learning,’ where students remember my lessons even years from now,” said Beeler. “I try to give my students the chance to experience learning for themselves and solidify what we learn in the classroom through experiences, instead of simply hearing about it.”
Congratulations to our H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards winners, we are #SBISDProud of you!