Two Spring Woods High School educators have won best-in-Texas awards from the H-E-B supermarket company.

Jennifer Collier

Jennifer Collier, Spring Woods High School (SWHS) principal, was named 2023 Secondary Principal, and Ryan Beeler, an environmental science teacher, was named the 2023 Rising Star Secondary Teacher, at the 21st Annual HEB Excellence in Education awards ceremony in early May in San Antonio.

Winners were selected from a pool of 58 finalists. A Galena Park ISD educator was the only other educator from the Houston area to win an H-E-B Award.

Spring Woods High School is in the Spring Branch Management District, which promotes the high quality of Spring Branch Independent School District schools and the area’s private schools as one of many reasons why more and more families want to live and/or do business there.

“This award is really about the students and staff,” said Collier. “Many of the (award application) questions allowed me to elaborate and highlight their incredible work and success, from the way they teach, to how they compete and perform. The narrative of this award was really about their stories.”

Her award is granted to one secondary principal every year from across the state. It recognizes excellence in leadership and campus culture; instructional leadership and management; and communication and community relations.

Collier will receive $10,000 for herself and a $25,000 grant for her high school.

The Rising Star Award honors teachers with less than 10 years of experience who show exceptional promise and excellence in their dedication as an educator. These winners each receive a $5,000 for themselves and a $5,000 grant for their schools.

Beeler was chosen as the sole recipient in the Rising Start Secondary Schools category.

“One of my greatest joys as an educator is to see that spark in a student’s eye when they figure out a concept or learn something new. That spark always motivates me,” said Beeler. “I am also motivated by my colleagues. I work with exceptional individuals that are committed to our students. We are all constantly learning from each other. They make it easy to come to work every day.”

Ryan Beeler

Spring Branch ISD itself was announced as a finalist in the HEB Excellence in Education Large District Category. While the district did not receive the award, Superintendent Jennifer Blaine tells us, “It was an honor to be recognized as a district finalist for the H-E-B Excellence Award. It’s a testament to the amazing work taking place in the schools and classrooms across our district. Our team of dedicated teachers, staff, campus leaders, district administrators and leadership go above and beyond to ensure Every Child (a project name) is college and career ready. We were thrilled to see Spring Woods High School’s Jennifer Collier and Ryan Beeler recognized for their inspiring work. Congratulations to them both!”

Collier has spent her entire almost 21-year professional career with Spring Branch ISD as a teacher, assistant principal, and associate principal prior to her current role.

She was also named the Spring Branch ISD Secondary Principal of the Year 2023.

“I am driven to continue the work at SWHS because of the amazing students and community I serve,” said Collier. “I believe that all students can learn at high levels. I also believe that Every Child possesses a unique set of strengths and gifts that need to be highlighted and enhanced. Our job is to make sure that Every Child is important, matters, and has an opportunity to shine!”

The annual H-E-B awards honor outstanding public school professionals for their dedication to their students, their schools and their communities. In total, the Texas-based company this year awarded $430,000 in cash and grants to eight educators, two school districts, one early childhood school and a public school board.

H-E-B has awarded more than $13 million in cash and grants to Texas schools and educators since it began the awards in 2002.

Nominations for next year’s 2024 awards are now open. Members of the public may nominate educators; finalists and winners are selected by a statewide panel not directly affiliated with H-E-B conducts a personal interview with each finalist to select winners.

Visit Excellence in Education Awards – HEB online to submit nominations.

— By Jessika Leal