Two HISD educators were surprised by H-E-B on Wednesday with news that they are finalists for the 2016 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, one of the largest monetary programs for educators in Texas and the nation.
Bellaire High School teacher and international baccalaureate coordinator Ann Linsley was recognized as a teacher finalist, while North Houston Early College High School Principal Angela Lundy-Jackson was named a principal finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards.
The two are among eight educators from across Houston and 40 across the state who were selected as award finalists. They now will go on to compete at the state level, where they will have the chance to win additional cash prizes.
Linsley, who teaches Advanced Placement and IB human geography and environmental science, was surprised in her classroom with a $2,000 prize — including a $1,000 personal prize and $1,000 school prize.
“I’m very honored,” said Linsley, a Bellaire graduate who has taught at the school for almost 30 years. “What I try to do every day is to get my students to fall in love with geography and the amazing attributes of this planet. Bellaire has been my whole life. I came here as a student and have been here for 30 years. It’s awesome to get to work with young people every day.”
Lundy-Jackson, who has led North Houston Early since 2010, was surprised during a school assembly with a $3,500 prize — including a $1,000 personal prize and a $2,500 school prize.
A veteran educator with more than 20 years of experience, Lundy-Jackson began her education career with Teach for America and later went on to be an HISD teacher mentor, an English department chairperson, an instructional coordinator, a magnet coordinator, and a dean of instruction/assistant principal.
“I’m so very proud of my students and staff,” Lundy-Jackson said. “It has been an incredible journey for me over the last 25 years I’ve been in education in Houston. Sometimes you don’t realize the impact you have until one day you run into one of your former students and they let you know that it’s because of you, what you said and what you did, that has made such an impact on their life. That’s why it’s so important for all of us to keep pushing these children and to not give up on them. We must produce good citizens who are ready for the future.”
HISD Board of Education Trustee Anna Eastman attended the surprise announcement at North Houston Early, which she described as a gem. She also thanked Lundy-Jackson for being a “true servant” to the school.
“It’s not very often that you meet people who are really about the work and not themselves,” Eastman said. “Knowing that the school has a leader and teachers who expect students to be better than what they may expect of themselves is going to be what makes a difference. Knowing that there are people like [Principal Lundy-Jackson] leading our schools is what makes my work on the school board worth every minute.”