EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Two Borderland school districts are among the finalists for the company’s 21st annual Excellence in Education awards, which were announced by the regional supermarket chain Tuesday.

Fabens Independent School District is a finalist in the small district category, and Tornillo ISD is a finalist in the school board category.

Since the program’s inception, H-E-B has awarded almost $13 million in funding to benefit outstanding Texas public schools.

This year, H-E-B will award a total of $82,500 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 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 also receive $5,000.  

To determine overall statewide winners, a panel of judges visits each district, early childhood facility and school board, tour campuses and visit with administration, staff, parents and community members.  

Winners will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on Sunday, April 30 at the La Cantera Resort and Spa in San Antonio. The winning large district will receive $100,000; the winning small district receives $50,000; the winning early childhood facility will receive $25,000; and if selected, one or more school boards will receive up to a total of $25,000. 

Forty teacher and principal finalists will be announced in February and March during a series of surprise visits to schools and classrooms across Texas.