Joe Lee Johnson Elementary STEAM Academy teacher Allie Duffy and Teravista Elementary School teacher Stephanie Stoebe were deeply engaged in meaningful lessons in their classrooms, just like any other day, when their classes was happily disrupted by a cadre of visitors, bearing balloons and a giant cardboard check, surprising both with the news that they are finalists for  H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards.

Members of their campus community, District administration, and the H-E-B organization came out to congratulate them. Along with the distinction, H-E-B awarded both educators with a $1,000 grant for their classroom and a $1,000 cash prize.

“Allie Duffy and Stephanie Stoebe are leaders for our students and advocates for their success,” Superintendent of Schools Steve Flores, Ph.D. said. “They challenge all students to realize their potential and provide an integral support system to their students, campus and our mission to provide them with the best opportunities possible.”

H-E-B selected Stoebe as one of five finalists in Texas for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Elementary Leadership Award, which honors teachers with 10 to 20 years in the classroom. Duffy was selected as a finalist for the Rising Star Category, which honors teachers with 10 or fewer years of experience in the classroom. If selected as the winners in their respective categories each will receive a $10,000 grant for their classroom along with a $10,000 cash prize.

Duffy, who has been teaching for eight years, has served the Joe Lee Johnson community as a first-grade teacher since its opening in 2016 and was named Round Rock ISD’s 2018 Elementary Teacher of the Year and Region 13 Teacher of the Year. Stoebe, who has been teaching for 11 years, was named 2017 Elementary Teacher of the Year and 2012 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Finalists from across the state will gather at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on May 5 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston where top winners will be announced.

Find photos from the Joe Lee Johnson and Teravista celebration.