HEWITT, Texas (FOX 44) – Earlier this spring, H-E-B representatives visited Woodgate Intermediate School in the Midway Independent School District to surprise Principal Wes Kanawyer with news of his selection as an H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards Finalist.

On Saturday, Kanawyer was recognized by H-E-B as one of five state finalists for the 2022 Principal of the Year award. This award honors outstanding public school professionals as some of the best in Texas, and celebrates their dedication and commitment to their school communities.

Kanawyer was chosen as a Principal of the Year Finalist for consistently going the extra mile each day to serve the students and staff of Woodgate Intermediate, and inspiring others to do the same. In addition to this recognition, H-E-B presented each finalist with a cash prize and a grant for their school.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Excellence in Education Awards program, which was launched by H-E-B in 2002 in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators as a positive way to support public education in Texas. It has now become the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators. 

H-E-B asks customers, Partners (employees) and community members to nominate teachers, principals, districts, early childhood facilities and school boards in Texas. Each nominee is sent an invitation to complete an application online and is asked about their professional experiences, educational philosophies and achievements both in and out of the classroom.

A team of judges reviews the applications, narrowing the field to semi-finalists. From this pool, five regional judging panels comprised of former winners, administrators, and university and community leaders not affiliated with H-E-B select a total of 40 teacher and principal finalists who were notified of their selection in February and March during a series of surprise visits to schools and classrooms across Texas.