HOUSTON -

H-E-B announced the winners in their 2014 Excellence in Education Awards at Houston's Royal Sonesta Hotel Saturday night.

H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt awarded $430,000 in cash awards and grants to the state's top teachers, principals and school districts.

Butt also congratulated eight educators, two school districts, one early childhood agency and a public school board for being among the best in Texas.

Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw delivered the keynote address to the hundreds of educators, elected officials, community leaders and H-E-B employees who attended the event.

Earlier this year, H-E-B representatives made surprise visits to the classrooms and schools of 40 teachers and principals across the state, presenting each with a check for them and their school.

President of H-E-B Houston, Scott McClelland, told Local 2 that Saturday’s ceremony was about celebrating the importance of teachers and their role in the lives of Texas students.

The winners were selected from a pool of 58 finalists by judges who include former winners, school administrators, and university and community leaders.

Here is the list of the winners in H-E-B’s 2014 Excellence in Education Award ceremony:

  • The Rising Star award went to Celena Miller of Cesar Chavez Elementary and Mary Lagleder of Earl Warren High School.
  • The Leadership award went to Nicholas Solis of Hillcrest Elementary and Bart Taylor of A&M Consolidated High School.
  • The Lifetime Achievement award went to Connie Bagley of Crockett Elementary and Rosbel Peña of Alton Memorial Jr. High School.
  • The Principle award went to Gladys Graves of Chilton Elementary and Dr. Jason Johnston of Maurine Cain Middle School.
  • The Early Childhood Facility award went to ChildCareGroup in Dallas. President Victoria Mannes accepted the award.
  • The School District award went to Temple ISD in Temple. Board President Steve Wright accepted the award.
  • The Small School District award went to KIPP Houston in Houston. Superintendent Sehba Ali accepted the award.
  • The Large School District award went to Edinburg CISD in Edinburg. Superintendent Rene Gutierrez accepted the award.