Texas Border Business
A McAllen ISD teacher is a finalist for a state education award. Officials from H-E-B surprised Rachelle Downey of Lamar Academy with the news Tuesday.
“We appreciate all of your outstanding work and everything that you do for all of your students,” H-E-B presenter Linda Tovar said as students applauded.
She is a finalist in the Lifetime Achievement Secondary category. H-E-B’s Excellence in Education is the largest monetary awards program for educators in Texas, and among the largest in the nation.
“To all my friends and my colleagues and my wonderful principal (Cindy Pena) … thank you for all your support and for giving me the chance to be a part of the Lamar Academy family,” Downey said. “I think it’s amazing (that H-E-B supports teachers). We all feel really supported by them and the community.”
H-E-B representatives had balloons, flowers and a check for $1,000 for Ms. Downey. Her school also received $1,000. The state winners will be announced May 5 in Austin.
A veteran of 24 years in the classroom, Mrs. Downey teaches English in the school’s International Baccalaureate Programme. In 2009-10, she was a Campus and District Teacher of the Year. She became a Regional Teacher of the Year in 2010-11. In May, 2011, she earned H-E-B’s School Leadership Secondary award.
McAllen ISD’s School Board is also a finalist for the School Board Leadership category. If selected, one or more school boards will receive up to $25,000.