Texas Border Business
PHARR, Texas – A Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) educator was one of only five teachers in the State of Texas named a Finalist for H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Rising Star Award.
Teshawn Leslie, Business Information Management Teacher at PSJA Sonia M. Sotomayor Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Pharr, was surprised with the news by the H-E-B Prize Patrol and district leaders on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
The Rising Star Award honors exceptionally promising teachers with less than 10 years of experience. Leslie was one of only three educators from the Rio Grande Valley named a finalist this year. As part of this honor, she was awarded a $1,000 check for herself and a $1,000 grant for her campus.
“Seeing my students succeed is my biggest reward. I love all my students as if they were my own daughters,” said Leslie who takes pride in teaching at PSJA Sotomayor, a special-purpose campus committed to ensuring young mothers continue and complete their education. “I am so grateful to be part of the PSJA Family and thank you to H-E-B for this wonderful surprise.”
H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Awards is the largest monetary awards program for educators in Texas, and among the largest in the nation. The honor was kept a surprise from the educator, who learned she was selected as a finalist when H-E-B representatives visited her classroom and schools with gifts from their local H-E-B store.
“We commend Mrs. Leslie for her dedication and inspiring our students to succeed,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “Congratulations on being named a finalist for this highly competitive award. Our PSJA Family is with her and wishes her the best as she advances to the next round in Austin.”
According to the H-E-B press release, all finalists will be invited to Austin on April 29, 2022, to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling $430,000. As a finalist, Leslie is now in the running to win the state award of $5,000 for herself, and a $5,000 grant for her school.